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Archive for Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eudora to start kindergarten fee

District begins effort to cut $410K from school budget

The decision will lengthen school days by 15 minutes or more, but save the district $100,000 per year. It will also charge a $100 fee for any child attending kindergarten.

April 10, 2010

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— Facing a $410,000 budget shortfall, the Eudora school board on Thursday night opted not to cut all-day kindergarten classes, but to charge a $100 enrollment fee for all kindergartners, regardless of full-day or half-day enrollment.

Board members showed their support for early childhood education in the form of unanimous votes on both issues.

As the votes were cast, district kindergarten teachers applauded the effort and many of them thanked the board members for their efforts to save the program. Until kindergarten enrollment numbers become final, however, it is uncertain how many kindergarten teachers will be needed next year and whether any current positions will be cut.

District leaders say the new fee is expected to raise $5,000 toward the $410,000 the district is losing for next year.

At Thursday night’s meeting, Superintendent Don Grosdidier proposed several budget cut scenarios for the board to consider. The meeting lasted more than four hours.

The board also voted 6-0 to accept a proposed school calendar for 2010-2011 academic year that has 10 fewer school days. That move will save the district $10,000 per day, or $100,000 altogether.

Eight of the school days will be noncontract days for teachers and other district staff members. The other two will be teacher inservice days.

In order to comply with state law, each school day will be lengthened. Fifteen minutes will be added to the school day for Eudora Elementary School and Eudora Middle School. Seventeen minutes will be added to the Eudora High School schedule, and 22 will be added to the day at West Early Childhood Learning Center.

The board will meet again during a special meeting on April 22.

Comments

David Mora Marín 4 years, 9 months ago

I am horrified that a school district thinks it's a good idea to charge children for what is supposed to be a right - something open and accessible to all. I am also very upset that the teachers themselves see this as a good thing- is it even legal? I am a teacher and have taught in several districts - money is always tight, more so now than in the recent past- but making parents pay for the right to go to school? this is horrible, and it leaves many questions unanswered: what if I can't afford kindergarten? can I be denied school if I can't pay? what if next year we still need money? what if kindergarten doesn't make enough money? will other grades have to pay, too? at what point have they become a private school, since public schools are free? do other laws and rights not apply in Eudora public schools?

crazyredneckmomma4 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you davidmm. But thats Eudora for ya.

grammaddy 4 years, 9 months ago

And so it began- the end of FREE public education.

Kash_Encarri 4 years, 9 months ago

Where have you been? Lawrence has done something similar for YEARS.

Daniel Davidson 4 years, 9 months ago

This is what happens when they vote to build a new football field and have no money. Now the parents are having to come up with the shortfall due to the forces that be suck at money managment.

KSManimal 4 years, 9 months ago

davidmm (anonymous) says…

"I am horrified that a school district thinks it's a good idea to charge children for what is supposed to be a right - something open and accessible to all. is it even legal?"

First, I'll bet the district does NOT think it's a good idea, any more so than districts all over the state think larger class sizes, reduced support services, pay-to-play, itinerant nurses/principals/librarians, or thermostats set at 55/85 are good ideas. BUT - they can't spend money they don't have. If you're upset, contact your legislators - they hold the purse.

Second, kindergarten is not a right; nor is it compulsory. If the right-wings of the legislature have their way, and cut $2-3 million more from public education,...don't be surprised if kindergarten starts to disappear altogether.

Again, if you're upset, contact your legislators. Fussing on this forum won't bring more dollars into your school district.

Ilses 4 years, 9 months ago

Building the new football field was a bad idea. Building the new elementary school with all the classroom space and extravagances was also wrong. Now, they are using money for the football field that could be used to retire other debt or maintain the existing school buildings. No doubt, very soon they will come to the voters with another bond issue for upkeep of buildings or simply increase the tax levy, or will they decide to close another school to cover the deficit? The school district says that the existing football field is very valuable as business property and is unsafe for spectators, however, those just seem like words simply used to incite voters, true or not. The taxes in Eudora are so high that it makes the community unattractive to new residents as well as current residents.

imastinker 4 years, 9 months ago

Public education is not a right - it's a privelige.

The fact is that kindergarten is not required and not funded by the state the same as the other grades. Lots of schools do this now, and I support it even though I will be paying it for my kindergartener next year - and my fee is much more than $100.

areyousure 4 years, 9 months ago

Most people don't realize that kindergarten is not required. Kindergarten roundup is announced and since it is a school district program, everyone assumes that they have to send their child.

I wish that I known that when my child was that age. I wouldn't have moved him from a full day program that he was doing well in to a split day that required me to spend my lunch hour transporting him between the two programs. He learned more in the half day at the preschool than he did in kindergarten. I admit that I welcomed the decreased cost during a time that money was tight but I would have gladly paid the full day price if I had known it was an option.

akt2 4 years, 9 months ago

Up until this, Eudora has never charged fees at the beginning of the school year for any age. They also do not charge for bus transportation. So for 10 years I have never been charged a penny for my child to enroll, attend or ride the bus in Eudora. I have not heard of any others school districts that don't charge fees. I have always thought it would happen some day. It should probably be now.

WBBLover2010 4 years, 9 months ago

Just to clarify.....the football field has absolutley nothing to do with anything....that is being paid for by a seperate bond that was already approved....they can not take money from it to pay for anything other than the field.....plus kindergarten is the only thing they are charging for which is great compared to Lawrence schools who charge for everything even books.....so just be thankful for what there is and don't complain unless you have found another school district around here that doesn't charge for anything, then you have got it good.....

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

Eudora is way ahead in the game of waste. The new schools to replace the old ones deemed "unfit and unsafe for humans" that are now being used to teach kids in again. Nottingham elementary was used to fool people into thinking a new school was a must. BUT after the bond issue passed, they put kids right back into it and did not clean up the asbestos nor fix the structural defects. Eudora citizens got screwed over BIGTIME !!! This added an additional $1,200.00 to a $120,000.00 homes taxes. The city can not raise the mill rate ( for street repair and water line repair ) due to the school district keeping it toped out at and beyond state limits. The district has already announced they are going for a 3 mill increase in 2011 and that will hit homes and business so hard, some business owners are already closing up and leaving town. Others businesses have signed deals to move out of Eudora. Eudora is in a state of destruction and will be broke in the next year, totally broke and will end up being a sh% hole.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

Eudora is a suburb. As more people move out of the city to the suburbs, you need more infrastructure, which in turn you need to raise taxes. Just the way it is.

Steve Miller 4 years, 9 months ago

Im putting up the for sale sign and moving on from here. happy tax paying..........

Patty Buchholz 4 years, 9 months ago

At least Eudora has all day kindergarten for all students. I would probably be willing to pay for all day. Lawrence picks & chooses who gets to go all day.

garrenfamily 4 years, 9 months ago

We live in Tongie and were told at the parents meeting for kindergarten next year to expect to pay $20/week for all day kindergarten. glenwood ridge in basehor will pay $35/week.

akt2 4 years, 9 months ago

I think I am old and old fashioned. But I don't think that half day kindergarten was so terrible. Our kids that are going in to high school now, went to half day kindergarten. They are just as intelligent and socially acceptable as anyone else.

card1 4 years, 9 months ago

Although it may be true that the future Stadium is built from a building bond fund that was passed during might I say better days for everyone there is lot of miss conception with that statement. One being this, once all the construction trash has been hauled away and the job is complete this building fund is finished, and now becomes a greater drain on the general fund for ongoing maintenance. True a new facility may not need much, but in liew of closing down buildings and laying off teachers, to not filling valuable positions from retiring faculty members because our general fund is depleted and according to the state budget office getting worse not better one would think that better heads would prevail. Maybe Laws Field is built on some very nice property but shouldn't that be a benifit for the Eudora school system not a detriment. Not to mention it serves as the foundation to our new sports complex for the community with its attachment to the new swimming pool, tennis courts,baseball fields and parks. The city of Eudora has been hit pretty hard with the economic downturn, we have lost 6 viable businesses just in the last year,and another old timer has just announced its closing of the doors this week. Maybe you ought to be" Good Stewards" and look into the faces of your community (tax payers) and see if they are really the same page as you.I think that you might find something different. If I could give any advice to the powers that be for our school I would say that I understand that the Building combination Bond was passed, but due to budget shortfalls throughout the school system and the extreme economic downturn in the area maybe we ought to wait until things look at least a little bit better before we attempt to build a new Stadium, when we already have one. Laws field could be, with just a little bit of money spent on a bathroom /concessions redo, an outstanding facility and in an outstanding location. The school is supposed to be working with the businesses in Eudora especially when it's the business tax dollars that pay your wages. Once we move the Stadium out of town the existing Businesses that are currently across from Laws field that benefit from a Friday night Football game or a Track meet in the spring, when they receive alot of walkin traffic will be left with nothing.It has been said that our business sector in Eudora is " minuscule at best" so maybe it's time that we start working together.

Matt Garrett 4 years, 9 months ago

1) The board voted down a $200/mo or $2000/yr fee. No, thats not an exaggeration

2) Students in the poverty range can apply to state aid, so it won't cost them anything (just like now)

3) By doing this, no kindergarten teachers have to be fired. In fact, one more has to be hired.

4) There will most likely be a flat fee across the board for ALL grades, most likely $50. There will also most likely be an activity fee of $25-$50 for sports, etc.

5) If you think that is expensive, compare Eudora to ANY of the neighboring districts...even with this we're still one of the cheapest in the states. And still ranked one of the highest in the state.

The schools are why we moved to Eudora, and why we won't leave anytime soon. Bravo to a brave school board.

Matt Garrett 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and the stadium is being built with BOND money people. That means its ILLEGAL for them to use that for anything other than what was voted for (the stadium).

britt408 4 years, 9 months ago

Lucky they even have full-day kindergarten. A lot of school districts only provide half-day and some make you pay a lot more than $100 to have full-day. Most schools also charge textbook and material fees, even at the elementary level. Being a teacher myself, if I had to pay $100 to make sure that another teacher kept their job, then so be it.

cfdxprt 4 years, 9 months ago

Davidmm - you say you're a teacher. Well if you hit the shift key while typing a letter it makes it uppercase. Sentences should start with uppercase letters. I feel no pity for you, I feel for the kids you are teaching.

Other than that, I ain't got a dog in this fight...

Deja Coffin 4 years, 9 months ago

So far our school district offers all-day kindergarten without having to pay a fee but I wonder if Eudora's decision to have a fee will encourage other schools to do so. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

cfdxprt, oh who really cares! If you're that worried about grammar and spelling go through some of my old posts. I'm sure you'll have a field day.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

meudora ) Eudora is not what any other small or mid sized town is in the state of Kansas. The business base is 70% to 80% lower than any other town, in this area. The reason, and only reason Eudora’s business base is so low is THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS MONEY HUNGRY STYLE !!!! You would crap your pants if you knew how much a business in Eudora has to pay out each month in taxation for schools. It is 103% more than the city of Lawrence and 94% more than Olathe. We all share in the quest for great education, that is a fact, BUT you have to draw a line if you want a town to remain solvent, and Eudora is on the brink of failure , due to the frikin school district. I own a larger business in Eudora , and we are looking at moving to another town and county. Also, when a school board OUTRIGHT LIES to EVERY person who lives and pays taxes in Eudora and tells them "quote from our jerk off school board " We have to get the kids out of Nottingham because it is unsafe and full of asbestos. Our town is growing at 40 students a year " BOTH were used to falsify a need and fool the voters. If they were true, why are they still putting kids in Nottingham ? Why is our student population shrinking ? If i had a kid in Nottingham i would sue the ass off of the school district. You can also add the old downtown school to the list of BS the board has tossed around, to make people vote for a false reason and more lies. This district has brainwashed its parents for the last 25 years and the truth has come out. Every single board member needs to go and let the state take over until good business minded leaders can be put in place.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

And more. ))))))) The school district has kept the mill rate at or above state limits for the past 18 years. They have to get permission from state regulators every year to jab the people of Eudora for more money. This has lead to the City of Eudora putting off sewer , street and electrical work that has to be done. The city has held off on raising the mill rate to cut taxes for the people. NOW the city has had to put fees ( HUGE ) fees on water, electric and sewer bills to stay afloat. This is not the way to work hand in hand and control your cost of operations and have a livable town. Example for you. Sewer bills have went up 400% over the last 5 years. Electric bills have went up 200% in the last year. Year 1992 ( school district )tax amount on a $110.000.00 home in Eudora was $296.00 and now is at $1,800.00 a year. Yea $1,800.00 a year for 4 new fancy half empty schools. It also keeps and maintains old schools and several lots they don’t use. They own the most valuable pieces of commercial properties in the ENTIRE city and have NO plans of selling them. This is why people are sick of the Eudora school district and ALL the board members. This is why they lost many businesses and are losing more soon. If you have a better plan, spit it out !!!!!!!!!!

akt2 4 years, 9 months ago

If you are so concerned about the asbestos in Nottinghan, then simply go to the 491 Distict Office, request their Management Plan for Nottingham, and then you can see with your own eyes, instead of assuming and speculating about the condition of the "asbestos" in that building. The Management Plan will show, quantiity of known asbestos building materials, if any has been removed, when it was removed, an under what engineering controls, it was removed, This has been the Federal Law since 1989. If you you are so knowledgeable about asbestos, you would have taken these steps, rather than assuming, a dangerous condition existed there.

Taxes in Eudora are a hard pill to swallow for anyone who doesn't have children enrolled in the school district. If you think you'll be happier and think your business can do better in another town and county, then don't let the proverbial door hit you where the sun don't shine.

kjo_shorty 4 years, 9 months ago

This should come as no big surprise to anyone. All other surrounding districts have been charging enrollment fees for many years. Guess what. Lunch prices are going to go up as well. Deal with it.

Matt Garrett 4 years, 9 months ago

Ahh, Kansasmutt...I miss reading your comments back a couple of years ago on Eudoranews. The reason business sucks in Eudora is that its RIGHT NEXT TO LAWRENCE. Eudora will never have a thriving downtown or huge commercial businesses, because all of those businesses go to where the people are: Lawrence. If you're that pissed at the community stop whining already and move your business...you've been threatening it for years now, first blaming the old city council, the old mayor, and now its the school board for taxing too much. The board could just vote to raise the mill levy and pay for all their expenses that way. They are trying, however, to find a way to do it WITHOUT raising the cost for all of Eudora. Give the some credit, and if you don't even go to the board meetings, don't act like you know what you're talking about.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

akt2 & meudora ) Did either one of you read word for word my post’s ? As for our city council , they are doing everything they can to get this city back on track. They can’t just raise the mill rate , due to the school district pulling so much from the people now. If the city was to raise the mill to what it should be to keep things updated, the tax bill on a home would be too much for anyone to absorb, with the school tax at this time added to that ..( akt2 The school district openly said and used asbestos as the #1 reason for needing a new grade school in Eudora. Is it in the school ? That is not my job to know. That is the job of the board. If asbestos is not in the school , it was a straight out lie and used solely for manipulation of the public. If it is in the school , then those children still in the building are at risk , and that is wrong to put them at risk and to manipulate the voters to thinking they were doing what is best for our children. ( meudora = Being close to Lawrence is a copout on your part. If this was the case, Bonner Springs, Tonganoxie , Baldwin , Desoto and many more towns would have the same issues, but they don’t. As for me going to school board meetings, Haa Haa Haa , you think they would let me speak at the meeting ? They pick and choose who speaks and if you are negative, you for some mysterious reason don’t get to speak, very magical. Been there done that. Have you been to downtown Eudora meudora ? Every time I go, it is booming. The street is full and lots of people down there.( meudora, are you content with your tax bill on your home and or business and what amount goes to the school district ? Would you be happier to have a few hundred more dollars a year( on your tax bill ) going towards having better city services and attracting more commercial investors in Eudora ? Would you like to have a Dollar Store and a nice clothing store ? Eudora can’t have that, because the school district is keeping the mill so high that businesses look and walk away from us. We ( my business ) pays $600.00 a month in taxation for schools. A larger company would pay thousands a month and that is not good business for either party. Common ground has got to be found for the district, city and business to thrive and the district will not come to terms with that idea. Our city leaders are the best we have had for decades and they are bringing Eudora to the 21st century at a good pace. I thank them. ....... ( akt2 you and your mindset of "like it or leave it" is like a 2nd grader , you have no concept on how to make a city work and make it livable. Like it or leave it, what an idea. With your kind, this city would never change nor would it advance and be something awesome.

Deja Coffin 4 years, 9 months ago

I wondered why a small town like Oskaloosa could have a Dollar General but not Eudora. If what you say is true, now I see why.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

Part 2 ) As for my thoughts on moving my business to another area, well, that is a money issue. If my business can make more money in another location and let me retire at a younger age, well, that is a business decision. Do I like taxes, nope, but they are part of owning a business. If i can save tens of thousands of dollars a year and get closer to retirement in another town, well, that is business smart . I have owned a business now for quite some time and as a smart business owner, i will go with what works out best for me. That is one right as an American that i still have. The other is the right to free speech and I use that one as well. I voice my opinion on many issues , some get things changed, others don’t. I at least try to make things better , not worse on anyone. If education worked well in the 70s for 35% of the states revenue take for schools, it can work now. We now use 65% of every penny collected in Kansas to fund schools and we get jabed for an additional huge amount in local district taxation. This spells misuse and waste to me and it is destroying our local economy’s .

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

( 423 ) It is very true. Eudora is a great town, but you toss on the extra $$$ it takes to operate every month with the school district tax rates, a business has to factor that into operating cost’s. They cant build here and turn a profit. I have personally went to several large retail stores ( corp. offices ) and tried to get them to build in Eudora and they all tell me the same thing. " we want to, but it is to expensive to operate in Eudora " The other issue is land. The school district owns the best land avl in the entire city on Church Street and K-10 , off of K-10 less than 1 block ( condemned Nottingham school ) and it is not for sale. They also own and have 2 new schools just off K-10 to the south 2 blocks, prime retail locations wasted on schools. Also the new elementary school on 10th street out east on perfect great commercial space, again , wasted retail space for a school. Not one of the board members is business smart nor do they care about Eudora growing a business tax base. They suck, to put it bluntly. now you see why I as a business owner get so ticked at our school district. They have ruined this city for retail property and made it too expensive to open and run a new business. Hell, even McDonalds wants to be here, but cant afford it, and wants the space the old school is on. That should tell you something.

alotofanswers 4 years, 9 months ago

to meudora --You are mistaken. They have not only non-renewed one kindergarten teacher, but they have non-renewed the BEST elementary principal this district has ever seen or could ever hope to see. The school board (led by Marty Kobza) overextended themselves during the past seven years and now are having to sacrifice quality to reduce their budget. They are blaming all of this on the Legislature, but they need to take some of the credit for this mess. They built a huge elementary school based on projected growth. There are over 16 classrooms sitting empty this year. They spent thousands of dollars on backstops on the ballfields at the elementary school and much more than that to add new bathrooms to Eudora West to accommodate the pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Now they will probably close the building. What waste! The board has also non-renewed an AMAZING votech instructor and is replacing her with a board member's wife that doesn't even have a college education. Tell me, if you were a patient being cared for by a new CNA from Eudora Votech, would you want that person taught by someone with a Masters + or someone who has never even attended college? It's time for new blood on the school board --the current members have bitten off more than they can chew and are choking on it.

kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

The worst part of all the waste and impropriate actions of the Eudora School Board , is the impact on the kids and the loss of the best teaching staff in any Kansas school district. The small more old style schools we had have been turned into big fancy money pits that we will never educate good from again. The way it was before turned out some very great minds and important people who have impacted thousands. I don’t know why the board wanted to mirror Lawrence and teach kids that money grows on trees.

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