School districts across the state, and certainly within the Lawrence region, continue to struggle with tight budgets and even more expected cuts — all while their communities and their residents remain challenged by a struggling economy.
In Eudora, officials are hoping to use an old asset to help bring some much-needed financial relief.
The Eudora school district is looking for a buyer for 15 acres of property along Church Street, just north of Kansas Highway 10. It’s the site of the old Nottingham Elementary School and, to the south, Laws Field.
“It’s very important that Eudora get some economic development,” said Belinda Rehmer, a member of the school board. “That’s what we’re working on. We’re trying to get some economic development in the city.
“The goal is that selling this will be part of the catapult that brings Eudora growth. We desperately need economic development: All the taxes are on the shoulders of homeowners. We need to be supporting our town. We’re hoping this will be a big boost.”
The effort has been moving along for a while now — the property had been appraised at just over $1 million about two years ago, Rehmer said — and board members plan to hear a status update during their meeting Thursday night.
Planning ahead for snow days requires a certain amount of faith. This week, for example, the Lawrence school district canceled classes for two consecutive days, equaling the number of makeup days reserved in the school calendar for this academic year.
The district’s proposed calendar for 2011-12 — up for review Thursday night by members of the Lawrence school board — would reserve only one day.
The difference can be significant. If the district declares one or two more snow days this year, for example, the district would not need to make those up. Any successive snow days would require the district to add classroom time — either by adding days at the end of the year, or, more likely, adding a certain number of minutes to each class day — to make up the time lost.
With only one day built into next year’s schedule, the district would be able to make up one school day without extending its school year or school days, and then receive “forgiveness” for only one additional day. After that, any additional cancellations would need to be made up.
One more item out of Eudora: The Cardinals of Eudora High School would be playing girls soccer in the spring of 2012, under a proposal supported by Cara Kimberlin, the school’s activities director.
Members of the Eudora school board are scheduled to receive the request for discussion and information Thursday night.
The meeting begins at 7 in the library at Eudora Middle School, 2635 Church St.
— The First Bell e-mailbox is always open: firstname.lastname@example.org.