To the editor:
The Lawrence community owes a great debt of gratitude to a group of parents and business men and women who came together behind a local endeavor dubbed "Citizens for Students." I commend the leadership of Jackie Ferguson, Rosy Elmore, and each of the individuals involved in this grass-roots effort to benefit students in the Lawrence public schools and their families. All told, your efforts have raised an astounding $85,000!
Citizens for Students collected "pocket change" during a fall fund-drive to establish scholarships to assist low-income families with increased enrollment fees. The group canvassed the community for donations and hosted a highly successful benefit auction on Feb. 2. Based on anticipated participation rates, these proceeds will cover subsequent participation and co-curricular fees for junior high and high school students involved in more than one sport or activity.
It is disheartening to me that local Kansas communities, like Lawrence, are being left to shoulder the burden when the state fails to meet its responsibility to adequately fund public education. Unfortunately, we as a district have been forced to pass on a portion of our increasing costs to the families we serve. I pledge to you that our school district will continue to seek to improve efficiencies in our operations, while protecting the safety of our students and preserving the high quality of our academic program.
On behalf of the board of education, and the 10,000 students and 1,650 staff of the Lawrence public schools, thank you, Jackie, Rosy, Citizens for Students volunteers, generous contributors, and all who took part in the benefit auction!
superintendent of schools