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    Commentary: “Building a wall with barbed wire along the Albany border is not the answer”

    Albany resident Peter Lincroft wrote a commentary on the residence checking story:

    “As I am sure most Albany parents have, I have been following the news regarding the issues of overcrowding, inter-district transfers, and residency requirements. Its not a simple issue, but I just finished¬†reading Miriam Walden’s blog article on the subject and it really struck a chord with me.

    My family is one of those that went to the very significant trouble and expense to move into Albany just for the schools. We are exactly the kind of people who ought to have the highest level of resentment for those “outsiders” who are crowding into “our” schools.

    Of course, before deciding to move, we considered the option of staying at our home in Berkeley (about a 15 minute walk from Marin school) and transferring to Albany.

    There were obviously a lot of reasons why we chose to move, including our anticipation of the overcrowding problem and the possibility that as a transfer we might be forced out at any time.

    But, the bottom line is that you have to do what you have to do. We have rules in place about transfers, residency requirements, etc. Those rules should be enforced. I don’t think anyone would suggest that they should not be enforced.

    But, all of the families that attend our schools are part of our community. And I, for one, do not want our community to be filled with suspicion and resentment. I do not want our community to be divided between the “righteous” and the “cheaters”.

    One of the things that makes the Albany district so special, is how much all of the families that are here care about having the best schools possible. And I want every one of those families to feel welcome and included.

    Yes, we have a problem with overcrowding. And we have big budget cuts looming. But the answer is not to start sniping at each other and trying to cut out members of our community. In this time of adversity, we need to come together as a community and work together to find solutions to the problems we face that will make our schools better than ever.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Miriam Walden on this issue.¬†Building a wall with barbed wire along the Albany border is not the answer. “

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