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Archive for Saturday, May 4, 2002

Parents raise funds to fight layoffs

Nearly $120,000 secured to save 5 staff positions

May 4, 2002

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— Parents at two Shawnee Mission elementary schools have raised nearly $120,000 enough to save the jobs of five staff members whose jobs were about to be cut.

"We're very excited," said Ada Koch, the mother of two students at Prairie Elementary. "Over half of the families at Prairie and a lot of alums sent in money."

Parents at Prairie donated $45,912 in about a week. They will retain their full-time nurse and reading teacher, said district spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal.

Koch said parents had filled out surveys to decide which positions they would save. Fund-raising efforts probably will continue in the fall, Koch said.

At Belinder Elementary, parents raised $72,751, including $7,000 from the school's PTA. The money was raised in a few weeks.

Parents opted to keep a full-time nurse, a part-time counselor and their foreign language teacher.

Students and parents at Shawnee Mission East High School raised more than $7,300 to keep the school's part-time nurse's aide.

The entire amount needed for a staff member's salary and benefits had to be raised before a specific employee could be kept, Neal said.

Parents at some schools are afraid that the fund-raising efforts will create inequity in the district, which covers several Johnson County cities.

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