Letter to the editor: School bond issue concerns
To the editor:
Thanks for reviewing the Baldwin City and Eudora school bond issues up for public voting May 16. Seeing the Eudora plan in full description and the Baldwin plan with scant details is very telling. Most striking is the strategic approach of Eudora’s plan in contrast to the Baldwin plan. At a recent public information meeting (where USD 348 patrons were discouraged from asking questions publicly), the Baldwin School Board president commented that this request for $25 million plus interest for 20 years is proof that they can do — something. Something not quite thought through. What’s missing is input from the broader community. Also missing is the enrollment projection/study that Mark Dodge says will happen in November.
Before we pass this, let’s study it:
Do we need 650 parking spaces for a high school of 400 total students?
Should we spend nearly $8 million to duplicate the stadium and track facilities already available at Baker University (contracted by USD 348 this school year for $35,000)?
Does it make any kind of sense to build a shell building for Career and Technical Education (CTE) that could not support diverse programs — welding, culinary arts, wood shop, etc?
Using Eudora’s strategy, Baldwin could issue a $13 million bond with no mill levy increase, providing priority line items. Contract with Peaslee Tech in Lawrence for diverse CTE programs – teachers, equipment, appropriate facilities – at affordable per-student fees. Also, continue contracting with Baker University’s athletic facilities. I’m for that! So, on May 16, I’m voting no.