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Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lawrence full-day kindergarten expanding as school cuts loom

April 12, 2011

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New middle (school) names

Three down, one to go.

Monday night, members of the Lawrence school board approved new — yet familiar — names for three of the district’s junior high schools this summer:

• South Junior High will become South Middle School.

• Southwest Junior High will become Southwest Middle School.

• West Junior High will become West Middle School.

Central Junior High School’s new name won’t be decided for another couple weeks, giving the board time to study potential costs. The junior high that now occupies the building dedicated in 1923 as Liberty Memorial High School could become Central Middle School, Liberty Memorial Middle School or Central Middle School — The Liberty Memorial Building.

Broken Arrow and Sunflower schools will provide full-day kindergarten, even as the Lawrence school board broadens its consideration of potential budget cuts for the coming school year.

Monday night, board members voted to spend $132,500 to bolster kindergarten programming at the two schools, which are among seven elementaries that currently offer only half-day kindergarten.

The district came up with the money by opting to close Wakarusa Valley School next year. That move would be expected to save $487,508 — not including the additional $75,000 in “at-risk” financing and $68,422 in transportation savings that would be tapped to finance the kindergarten offerings.

The two schools getting the full-day kindergarten also happen to be the ones set to welcome all of Wakarusa Valley’s students: Kids living in the Easy Living Mobile Home Park, near Target, will go to Sunflower, and others will go to Broken Arrow.

“I really like providing a real tangible benefit to those (future) students who are giving up their school,” said Vanessa Sanburn, a school board member.

The decision left an additional $10,992 in savings beyond what already had been previously expected from the upcoming Wakarusa Valley closure, and that additional money will be used to help fill an estimated $3 million budget hole whose potential fillers soon will multiply.

Also during Monday’s meeting, board members said they wanted to see additional budget-cutting options beyond the $2.9 million in adjustments already suggested by administrators, a total that already includes the nearly $500,000 savings by closing Wakarusa Valley. Among the adjustments previously suggested:

• Spend $750,000 from the district’s contingency fund, a savings account that now has nearly $6.8 million in it. Another $250,000 would come from other reserve funds.

• Plan on spending $500,000 in budget credits, which would include revenues from gym rentals, substitute services and other operations.

• Take over management of the Lawrence Diploma Completion Program, which would provide another $215,000.

• Opt not to fill an open teaching position at each of the district’s two high schools, saving the district an estimated $106,413.

• Boost bulk purchasing operations, saving $100,000.

Increased expenses

Mark Bradford, who is in line to become board president in July, said he would like to see other budget options brought forward by administrators. Among them: Eliminate the furloughs that were imposed this year on administrators plus custodians, maintenance, IT and other classified, nonteaching personnel.

“Those should be a part of this puzzle,” Bradford said.

That would cost another $109,000, and board members also said they wanted to remain mindful of other possible increases in expenses. The Lawrence Education Association, for example, is pushing for salary increases that would equal $1.389 million overall.

“That could have a huge impact,” said Marlene Merrill, a board member leaving office in July. “Maybe I’m just worrying, but it’s a number that we have to think about.”

Numbers and values

Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer, said that he would look to find at least $1.5 million in potential savings and cuts for board members to consider during an upcoming meeting.

Rick Doll, district superintendent, said that the list likely would include “looking at the ratio,” which means the number of students per teacher. Last year, the board voted to increase the average class size in the district by one student, generating a savings of about $1 million because of the decreased need for teachers.

Scott Morgan, another board member leaving office in July, had been the lone board member earlier in the meeting to vote against adding full-day kindergarten at Broken Arrow and Sunflower.

It’s not that he disagrees with the value of the program. Instead, he’s just not sure how it would measure up when considered alongside other potential cuts in the weeks ahead.

“It seems like it should be part of the mix,” Morgan said.

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Did_I_say_that, you're much too kind. What the school board did here was despicable. It was despicable because the entire process was blatantly dishonest.

What's most disgraceful is that all of the alleged savings from closing Wakarusa weren't even put into shoring up USD 497's bottom line. Many families who've been part of Wakarusa School for decades have lost their neighborhood school so that parents at two more Lawrence schools can now have the convenience of full-time day care for their kindergartners.

The intellectual dishonesty and arrogance that have been revealed in this process are truly shameful. Closing an entire school is bad enough. Closing an entire school in the guise of saving money and then immediately spending a good portion of that money on a program affecting only one grade level at two other schools, without having revealed that as the game plan from the start, is reprehensible.

Nikki May 3 years, 8 months ago

While I agree that this is the WRONG way to get full day kindergarten, (I mean REALLY? Like everyone else has said, I thought we were cutting Wakarusa to save money. After it's all said and done, we are only getting $11k. Please tell me I misread that more than once.) I don't think that all day K is baby sitting. My oldest child went to Broken Arrow, which is a great school, but she had half day kindergarten. She was reading before she started and was able to go to other rooms for some enrichments at her level. If she was there all day, I think that that would have made her that much stronger of a student. She may have gotten extra time in other subjects too. At that point, she was only there for the reading groups. Now, move on to my other child. He is bright, but he was NOT advanced before kindergarten. We were fortunate to be the last of the schools to be chosen for full day K. Prairie Park. I feel that my son benefited so much from the extra time he had at school. Was it because I didn't take the time to work with him? No, it's because some kids just do better in an environment away from their parents. Before kindergarten, he knew a few letters, refused to even hold a crayon, and just had us worried. By the end of kindergarten, he was reading higher than grade level and was a great student. The social aspect was huge for him too.

As I have worked with Lawrence students for over 16 years, I have seen kids from all kinds of programs. From observations even outside of my two kids, I am a proponent of full day K. It's not babysitting, it's education. Also, if your child doesn't need full day, you can opt to do part days. I know that my son had a classmate that did that in kindergarten.

Yes, to full days, NO to trickery!

On a side note, who does this leave with half day? Sunset, Deerfield, Quail Run, Langston Hughes, and who? I guess the 7th school was Wakarusa? Originally the full day was for "at risk" schools. What's the criteria now? Are these kids now at risk because they have to be on a bus longer? You would think that Langston Hughes would get it for the ESL classes they serve.

speak_up 3 years, 8 months ago

Sunflower serves ESL students too, and may qualify for "at risk" with the addition of kids from the Easy Living Mobile Home Park.

Nikki May 3 years, 8 months ago

I know. I was just wondering WHY versus other schools.

Clevercowgirl 3 years, 8 months ago

Linking closing Wakarusa and providing full day kindergarten for the displaced families is a really hard package to sell to the public, much less those directly affected. Either the school board and administrators are clueless and politically inept, or this was just meant to be inflammatory to those affected. Either way, I need to get back to my garden.

mom44 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I don't understand how cutting the budget equals expanding kindergarten to full day. We are taking out $750,000 from a fund this year that will be dry in the next 6 years if we continue in this manner, and WHAT? Oh yeah, we're saving money by closing a school which may or may not actually have much of an impact on "savings", in the end. It reminds me of some of the TOYS R US advertising inserts from the paper that my kids love to peruse..... by a .... fancy play set, SAVE $500.... WHAT?

mom44 3 years, 8 months ago

Oops, typo, "Buy a fancy play set, SAVE $500 ".... WHAT?

kjh 3 years, 8 months ago

Just when I thought it couldn't get any more ridiculous........ The board/district in their infinite wisdom closed a school because of the huge budget shortfall, only to spend the vast majority of that money for all day kindergarten. This same astute group also opted not to fill two vacant positions at the high schools, while adding an entire grade level to each, when people all over town are telling them that the high schools are already extremely overcrowded. And finally, they are going to look at increasing class sizes yet again, despite the thousands of pages of documents from respectable studies saying how detrimental this is to our children. When does the incredibly poor decision-making stop???? I am not a teacher, but it would seem to me that if there are any experts who should be consulted about all of these things, it should be our teachers. They know what works best for our children, and they know what doesn't - like larger classes, less teachers, adding additional classes each day for the already overworked and underpaid teachers to cover, in physical spaces already overcrowded. There are areas that could be cut which would have less of an impact on our students and their teachers. And while I'm on my soapbox, VOTE TO APPROVE THE TEACHERS' SALARY INCREASE. These people have a very direct impact on our children, and they are passed over time and time again.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 3 years, 8 months ago

Shame, Shame on Doll and the USD497 School Board that have made such awful decisions. I sure hope the 4 newly elected board members will have the guts to come in here and right these wrongs. Saying we can't reverse these decisions because it's already a 'done deal', doesn't cut it with me either. If it's wrong, it's wrong, and someone needs to fix it. If it means they don't actually institute full-day kindergarten with the 'savings' from the closure of WV, then so be it. If it means they actually wait for the mold report and remediation needs of Kennedy and then decide to close it and reopen Wakarusa (for the same 500K 'savings'. BA could take them as easily as WV kids) then, so be it. If it means they close a different school that will generate a bigger savings and thus save our children from being subject to even a .5 increase in the student/teacher ratio, then so be it. I love how they are sliding that in here now. Would the task force have made the same recommendation if they knew the student/teacher ratio was going to go up? Was no one listening at the 3-28 board meeting? I know the Wakarusa group got up there and spoke on the evils of raising class sizes, they saw what Doll and the board were up to already... And when did we all of a sudden need $4M dollars not, $3M? Oh yeah, we have all these other things we want to spend money on, and closing WV isn't going to get us enough, so now we need to raise the ratio. Transparency, what??? I'm sorry, who decided to renew Doll's contract? And who put Doll and Minder and Morgan in charge of guiding the task force recommendation? Oh, yeah, our school board...why? I honestly would love to hear some of them explain this to us.

GMom05 3 years, 8 months ago

Ok, we all seem to be in agreement here. So, how do we get proactive about it? What can we do? After you've written your board members and your letters to the editor, what's next? Of course, I'm aware this starts in Topeka and I've written my letters there too. But my point is, how do we make this board and their administrators make the best choices with the funds they do have? How do we not only make ourselves heard, but make them take action that is in line with what the people of Lawrence really want? They are hearing us, they are just choosing to ignore us. Yes, I know we all voted them in there in the last 2-4 years, but I truly believe some of them have changed and no longer are listening to their constituents. I know I complain on here as much as the next person, but in trying to put the positive spin on this, what can we do??? Really, I'm open to suggestions!

supportourstudents 3 years, 8 months ago

I realize that many people are upset by the closing of Wakarusa Valley. I can sympathize with the families who have are losing something that has been a big part of their history. I'm sure the board thought long and hard about their decision to close Wakarusa Valley and didn't make the decision light-heartedly. Those of you who complain, have you read the report that shows that Wakarusa Valley costs over $50 more PER STUDENT to run than any other school per district, due to its small classes and not running at capacity? That is money that could be divided more equally among students all over the district to provide many of the things you are so concerned about, like reducing class sizes, raising teacher salaries, or providing more access to all-day kindergarten, which research has shown has huge impacts on student achievement, not just as "all-day babysitting." Why should the students all through the district have to suffer just so less than 200 families can keep their neighborhood schools? We are ALL making sacrifices to weather the budget crunch, yet Wakarusa Valley families seem to think they are being victimized. In reality, Wakarusa Valley is a detriment to the thousands of other students all over Lawrence who have all had to contend with huge class sizes this year so that Wakarusa Valley could remain open. So, before you complain about the hard decisions that the board has to make, please look at all sides of the issue and make sure that you understand the facts of the situation.

GMom05 3 years, 8 months ago

Supportourstudents---Are you kidding me??? Based on your post, I'd say you and I have very different ideas about what sympathizing means! So based on your math, $50 X 200= $10,000. 10K a year or 1,000 per month extra over a 10 month school year. For that amount, you blame all the woes of USD497 on the families of Wakarusa Valley? Really? According to your post then, you would suggest dividing that $1000 a month up throughout the district to raise teacher salaries, keep class sizes low, and provide more access to all day kindergarten? We are told we were closed due to inefficiencies, because we cost $50 more per child per year, than your child or any other child in the district. Unless you can prove that your child is more deserving, your argument is totally weak and without merit. How about educate yourself first? I'll tell you what, I'll pitch in that extra $1,000 a month, now can we keep our school open???

Synjyn Smythe 3 years, 8 months ago

supportourstudents: you've got to be purposefully ignorant here. The obvious remedy is to re-boundary, creating relief from crowded classrooms. Wakarusa could take 90 kids today, relieving crowding from Broken Arrow, Sunflower &/or Langston. The facility is sound, i.e. it needs no immediate repairs and can easily accomodate the additional kids. Close Cordley and save $1.9 million + the additional $2.5-3 million it'll take to make it sound and get it through to any bond issue passing! I've read the multitude of posts, and there simply is no reasonable argument against this!

Amy Bartle 3 years, 8 months ago

Why is Lawrence School Board considering expansion of kindergarten to full day when A- they are not proposing full day kindergarten for ALL schools, expanding the already inequitable kindergarten programs, B-Kindergarten isn't even required by Kansas for children to enter first grade, C-they just voted to close a school due to limited funds, and D-more cuts are expected? I sincerely do not understand the logic. School Board needs to focus on keeping the essential programs funded, not add additional services at this time. I'm with GMom05- what can we do? I've emailed, called, and written letters and I'm sure others have also.

2real4u 3 years, 8 months ago

WV parents need to stop yammering amongst themselves about conspiracy theories and face some facts. The money for all day kindergarten follows the students, and was never included in the "savings" from closing WV. That money also has to be spent on a subset of programs that are approved by the state an/or feds for programs that can improve school performance for those kids (like Title I) that the money was parceled out for. All day kindergarten is one of those programs. This money does not get "subtracted" from the WV closing "savings"!

And send more kids to you? Other than the 60 from the trailer courts we already ship out there? You think the commuter couples who drop their kids off at Sunflower want to make their way across the dam and down to WV before turning around and heading back on the Truckway to Topeka or KC to work? Think again. And overcrowding? That's so last year. Haven't you heard? The sixth graders are moving. Our schools are practically empty now and need to become "efficient."

Face it, Waka folks, this is (as they say in the country) "the chickens coming home to roost." Keep voting for the Anthony Browns and the Sam Brownbacks and wait for the crony tax breaks to magically fund your schools. It's nice to see the usual rural voter hypocrisy ("We don't need government! Other than the extensive network of roads, and farm subsidies, and extension offices, and schools…) finally biting you in the ass. Rural areas of this state get far more in services and funding than their own tax dollars can support, but they sure love to gripe about how horrible the cities that send them money are. Well, the city voted, and even if your turnout hadn't been pathetic (Single digits? Really?) you weren't going to stop it. Not that the slow death that is the consolidation plan is any better. But if WV parents and friends really want to get their school back, they need to take a look in the mirror. Only when the reflection no longer looks like Anthony Brown, Sam Brownback, Mike O'Neal and Kris Kobach will the situation improve for them.

2real4u 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

2real4u 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

deec 3 years, 8 months ago

So it's terribly inconvenient for city folks to transport their spawn to the country, but not inconvenient to transport country kids to the city? Is there a time/space continuum out there that we need to know about?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Deec: My comment was directed at 2real4u, not you.

deec 3 years, 8 months ago

No problem. It got disappeareded before I saw it anyway.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I was referring to my comment which got placed just below this one.

deec 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh, okay. Still no problem. I agree with you, actually.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Was the attitude displayed in this bigoted post the prevalent attitude on the task force that "decided" to close Wakarusa?

2real4u 3 years, 8 months ago

Chickens coming home to roost. Smaller government = less things from government, like small rural schools. Run government like a business = only look at the $$$, people don't count. Wakarusa costs more per pupil than any other school by over $500 per child. Take out the 60 kids from the trailer courts near Target and Home Depot, and that number would be worse.

Cato, it sounds like you're advocating some sort of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" philosophy. And we know that the folks around Wakarusa Valley don't want any sort of socialism creeping in to their part of the county. What's next, you going to come out in favor of Sharia law?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

My comments had to do with the process that was undertaken, which smacked of favoritism and was obviously disingenuous in its implementation given what was done with a good portion of the "savings."

The question I posed was simply whether the task force that "decided" this was comprised largely of people with the anti-rural bias that you display.

By the way, there are plenty of folks within USD 497 who live in the County and are political liberals. Whatever money was there was there. The level of state funding was and is an entirely separate matter. The issue was what to do with the money that was available: Keep a successful school open, or continue to feed the pet projects of those who run the school district. As has been the case for two and a half decades, they chose the latter.

2real4u 3 years, 8 months ago

The task force had zero members from at least one of the city schools that was proposed for closure. There was at least one Waka person who was extremely vocal about shutting down one or two Lawrence city schools instead.

And why do you think the use of the savings was disingenuous? All of it went to plugging the current funding gap. Oh, that's right - you're the typical misinformed LJ world commenter, thinking that closure savings instead spent on all-day kindergarten. Since you don't bother to read the original article or the clarification I added, let me explain it again. The money for all day kindergarten was already in the budget for designated educational programs like it, and would be spent on said programs whether at Waka or elsewhere. In fact, it is costing $10,000 less to do all-day K elsewhere than at Waka. So there is no a little bit more to spend on Title I programs at other schools in the district. Efficiency win!

"Keep a successful school open, or continue to feed the pet projects of those who run the school district."

A) All of the schools targeted by the Task Force are successful so that's a wash. But none of the others cost nearly as much per pupil as Waka. (Or have to trundle in 60 kids from the city to them just to get to that level.)

B) What pet projects? Sports stadiums? While I agree that they shouldn't have been built, the money that went to them was from capital bond funds that can't be used for operations. Does that mean the district HAD to spend on stadiums, just because they still had the authority to issue bonds for them? Absolutely not. But that's a completely separate issue, and even if the sports stadiums never got built, Waka would still get closed due to the operations fund shortfall.

How, exactly, is what I am saying an "anti-rural bias"? Have you looked at any election results maps for the last twenty years? Rural areas are getting exactly what they consistently vote for: smaller government and less services. (And I find it amusing that for people who like to call liberals emasculated, they're really being whiny crybabies about it.) Why do you think so many people keep coming to and staying in Lawrence from the area? We're a refuge from the lunacy. From a government that's supposedly too intrusive when it tells you you can't poison those around you with cigarette smoke, but is OK when it tells you what to do with your uterus or which orifices are approved for intercourse and which deity is the only one approved to pretend exists.

Waka serves as a nice example of the bigger political situation. But it's also a wake up call that other small districts and rural areas will be feeling soon enough. This is the state government they wanted. They shouldn't complain that it's starting to hurt.

ranger73 3 years, 8 months ago

Wow seems like the classic bait and switch that has been pulled by the illustrious school board. Almost like they had this planned from the start. No, that would be underhanded and conniving and unethical and basically lying to everyone from the start of this whole school closure thing. Oh, wait...

nativeson 3 years, 8 months ago

Spending funds on early childhood education is a good investment. Closing grade schools will continue to be required by USD 497 given the shift in elementary students within the district. These are the types of difficult decisions that are necessary to serve all the students in the district with the fewest amount of dollars. I am sure that the board will face 2-3 more years of difficult and unpopular choices given the health of the state budget.

The situation in Topeka was not created by the current administration, but it has evolved over decades due to a funding formula that continues to highly subsidize smaller districts at the expense of larger districts. Our state now has about 30% of its school districts with less than 400 kids for the entire district. New census numbers tell the story of declining population in these areas. Without a fundemental restructuring, this issue will get worse over time. Large scale consolidations must occur, period.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Nativeson, the comments in your second paragraph are right on. By way of one example of many, Rice County (total population 10,000) has six separate school districts. The reported total number of students in USD 497 (Lawrence) exceeds the entire population of Rice County. Q.E.D.

deec 3 years, 8 months ago

I understand your point about small rural districts, and I don't disagree, but what is the solution? What is a reasonable distance to expect children to travel to attend school? Someone has mentioned on one of these school threads that their home district was 570 square miles. Is it feasible to expect primary students especially to travel 50-100 miles to go to school? Virtual school might be a solution, if reliable internet service is available. But what if it's not?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Save $3 million on bus spending? Something to think about:

USD 497 budgets $4-4.5 million to bus students. The district is charged at a daily rate depending on how many students use the transportation.

Would a fair number of parents be willing to find other means to get your students to school IF it meant keeping all the schools open,teachers employed and retaining important subject matter/programs?

Think car pooling,family member assistance ,walking and biking.

USD 497 says it needs $3 million. Can WE come up with $3 million?

IF 75% of students were no longer bussed: 75% of $4,000,000 = $3,000,000 (million)

75% of $4,500,000 = $3,375,000

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

New single family residential housing is very active in the East Heights district.... hmmmmmmm

Dave Trabert 3 years, 8 months ago

FYI, USD 497 spending per-pupil only increased by 14.1% over the last five years, going from $10,101 to $11,529 according to data collected from the KSDE web site. Spending by fund is available at http://cpfs.ksde.org/cpfs/ and can be downloaded, separated into the various cost centers and divided by the number of full time equivalent students to arrive at per-pupil costs. We (Kansas Policy Institute) did that and posted the breakdown for all districts on www.KansasOpenGov.org if you want to save yourself the trouble.

Here’s how the major categories changed over the last five years for USD 497:

Instruction +25.6% Student / Staff support -6.6% Administration +2.4% Trans., Food Svc, Maint. +3.0% Capital and Debt +11.3%

USD 497 has some of the smallest cost increases in the state (and yes, spending on student and staff support did decline). Part of the reason that spending hasn’t grown much is that their carryover cash balances (not counting capital and bond payment funds) increased by $23.1 million – from $5.3 million to $28.4 million. Most of the increase represents state and local tax dollars that weren’t spent. Some of that money can be immediately transferred and used in any manner; some can be accessed by putting less into the fund than needed and spending down part of the balance (according to KSDE).

Synjyn Smythe 3 years, 8 months ago

"$28.4 million. Most of the increase represents state and local tax dollars that weren’t spent. Some of that money can be immediately transferred and used in any manner; some can be accessed by putting less into the fund than needed and spending down part of the balance (according to KSDE)."

In other words, the entire "crisis" was a ruse from the very beginning!

uneekness 3 years, 8 months ago

Have you contacted the school board and Dr. Doll with this figure and asked for an explanation? Because according to the financials presented by staff to the public last night, the contingency fund has roughly $6,000,000, and the district is required by law to have a zero balance in the operating fund at the end of the fiscal year. I'd be curious to see how they respond when you ask them to square it with the figure you are citing...

kugrad 3 years, 8 months ago

The contingency fund is, well, for contingencies. The figure Doll cited is correct. There is another fund, with somewhere in the neighborhood of the same amount, that can, by law, only be spent on things like insurance benefits (and with the rises in cost sometimes being 40%, that is just good planning). I am assuming the other monies Mr. Trabert mentions are non-bond capital outlay funds or perhaps he is citing money that is already for a budget-line item but that hasn't been spent yet. Most of it cannot just be immediately used in any manner The "crisis" is not a ruse. That is a distortion of the reality.

Dave Trabert 3 years, 8 months ago

no, the money is not a budget item and it is not a distortion of reality. These funds operate on a cash basis just like your checkbook. The balance only increases if more is deposited than is spent. Some of the money is in funds that can only be used for the stated purpose of the fund, but that's where KSDE says districts can access the money by depositing less in the fund than is needed for the coming year. There is also legislation that would lift restrictions on most funds and allow direct transfer of fund balances.

KSManimal 3 years, 8 months ago

One would need to be a complete Koch-addict to place much faith in anything coming from Kansas Policy Institute. Here's a bit about them:

http://www.examiner.com/k-12-in-topeka/figures-don-t-lie-what-about-kpi

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Things could be very interesting if what is said above is true....

Can we say outside audit please........

Perhaps some of the BOE are NOT being given straight facts perhaps instead are being manipulated.

somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

In other news, did you hear that Obama did find his birth certificate but was shocked to find out that he was in fact not born in Hawaii rather his mother was part of a secret NASA program that had her giving birth to him on the moon (long story but my book about this subject will be coming out soon). Obama is neither black nor white but really just a moonman!!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Close the current USD 497 admin building and move the admin staff and BOE meeting room to Centennial. Put the large white elegant admin building on the market and move those funds into the USD 497 cookie jar.

Why close schools?

On Feb 14 and Feb 28 the USD 497 BOE voted to approve nearly $1 million MORE dollars towards the ongoing the sports project for new bleachers and new items at Free State. In spite of hard times and how should the school district pay for a $16.5 million maintenance backlog in elementary schools?

http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/oct/how_should_school_district_pay_20_million_maintena/

Kookamooka 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm with merrill on that one. I still contend that there would be an interested party in the admin property. There is a new hotel going in and that corner will be conference central. That's 4 million dollars worth of asset. I still like what that one lady suggested a while back...put the administrators in trailers. It's good enough for the kids.

commuter 3 years, 8 months ago

Come on Merrill if you think the admin building so valuable, make them an offer to buy it. Come get off your butt and start doing something instead of talking about defending your PET projects or trying to kill things you do not like.

kueddie 3 years, 7 months ago

I am very impressed with the many comments. Nice job all of you. You guys pretty much said it all. I have never thought we should pay for baby sitting which is what full day kindergarten is. We the tax payers pay for this and on the other hand private businesses will have to cut their staff due to this increase. Too bad we just can't cut the library cost of $18m. Seems anytime the liberals wish to lay something on us taxpayers the election is always on an off election year..

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