Archive for Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Letter: What’s best for the school distrcict

March 19, 2003

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support of the Basehor --Linwood school bond issue. There are several points that I would like to make:

First: In recent weeks there have been several editorials expressing concern over the stance that the School Board has taken on this issue. The Board voted to put this issue back on the ballot not out of complete disregard for those of you that voted no, but out of regard for the children of this community. Thankfully we have elected members to our school board who have the best interests of the children in mind. They understand and are painfully aware of the critical need to accommodate a growing student population in our district. I'm sure that when they entered into the decision to put this issue back on the ballots so soon that they knew it would draw outrage from those in the community who felt the outcome of the bond issue had already been decided, but they decided to do it anyway, because that's how critical it is.

Second: I've also heard a lot of talk about " a fancy new school" and "what it was like in my day." I think some of us have forgotten what it was like "in our day." I grew up and went to school in KCK. My grade school was built in 1859 and incorporated into the KCK district in 1967. We had a gym with bleachers and a stage and sound system. Glenwood Ridge Elementary was just built 3 years ago and does not have any of this. I graduated from Washington High School and we had a pool and a swimming team, tennis courts and a tennis team. Basehor --Linwood High School does not. My husband's grandmother, who is 88, graduated from Wyandotte High School and when it was built it was one of the premier high schools in the state of Kansas. So, please don't tell me, "what it was like in your day," I was there. The point I want to make is that this bond issue is not being proposed just so we can build a new school. This bond issue has been proposed because we are currently experiencing an overcrowding situation with all of our schools (other than the high school) above 90% capacity. It will take at least 3 years to build a new school compounding this already serious situation and as you are all well aware there are over 2200 new homes approved for construction within our district.

The last thing I want to stress is the importance of everyone getting out to vote. If you are parents of babies, toddlers, preschoolers or planning on having children in the future, don't let this opportunity pass you by. I realize you don't have school age children at this time, but you and your children, as much as anyone, will either really benefit from this bond or really be put at a disadvantage if it doesn't pass. By the time these children start school you'll be faced with upwards of 30 in a class, modular classrooms and the elimination of things like art, music, strings and band because there simply isn't space. Please be proactive now. Don't sit back and think this doesn't affect me, because trust me, it will.

Lastly, I realize we are not in the best of economic times, but there is no greater need than that of supporting the growth and development of our children. They are our future, and all too often that is and has been overlooked. Please think of how you could spare $15-20 a month (the average cost to a homeowner to fund this bond issue) and Vote Yes on April 1. You will make a difference in our community and the lives of many children.

Dana Garrison

Bonner Springs

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