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Archive for Saturday, March 26, 2005

Figures argued

March 26, 2005

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To the editor:

The superintendent of Lawrence public schools was a little disingenuous in his letter of March 10 about "Classroom dollars." I am sure he knows that the U.S. Department of Education conducts surveys of every school district in the United States. And guess what? They all answer the same survey. What constitutes classroom dollars according to the study may be found at the U.S. Department of Education, "National Public Education Financial Survey," 2001-02 (http:// nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/rev_exp_02/).

According to this survey, Kansas is 44th out of 50 states in the amount of dollars getting to the classroom. The national average is 61.5 percent and Kansas is 58.5 percent. What is worse is that USD 497 is only letting 55 percent this year and 51 percent next year get to the classroom. So how does my comparison lack merit? Does the superintendent know that his district has been surveyed? Maybe the superintendent should go online and read the survey.

According to the proponents of the $63 million bond issues Web site, "addressing major facility and technology needs through these school bond issues frees district capital outlay funds to address elementary school facility needs."

Also, maybe the superintendent can explain what has happened to the 6 percent capital outlay funds that USD 497 levies every year. Remember when going to the polls that the USD 497 budget this year is $96 million. Mr. Superintendent, please answer my original question. Where's the money?

Jim Mullins,

Lawrence

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