Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Debate begins for future of schools

December 1, 2005

Sending eighth-graders to Basehor-Linwood High School. Using a building owned by a local church for classes. Proposing a new bond issue to the public.

Let the flow of ideas for the future of schools begin.

Administrators and members of the Basehor-Linwood School Board met during a work session Wednesday night to discuss facilities. It was the first formal facilities discussion the board has had since district voters rejected a $22.9 million bond issue in November.

Funds from an approved bond issue would have paid for the construction of a new elementary school and renovations to every school in the district except Basehor-Linwood High School.

Several options regarding handling an expected influx of new students at schools were heard, but no firm decision was made. Among those options included those listed above as well as proposing another bond issue next year, increasing student-to-teacher ratios or adding modular classrooms.

School officials pledged to speak with the District Advisory Council before moving forward with a decision. The DAC meeting is set to meet early next year.

At the meetings outset, board members commented on the bond issue's failure and reasons voters may have had for rejecting it.

"I've had people say 'I can't believe it didn't pass' and 'run it again,'" board president Kerry Muehler said. She added, "I think we ought to try again in April or May (2006)."

"I felt as positive about that as I could and it just didn't happen," board member Douglas Bittel said.

Administrators and board members alike expressed frustration at the bond issue's voter turnout. Less than one in three of the district's registered voters made it to the polls on Election Day.

"Part of that -- I'll call it apathy -- is that to a lot of people we don't have a problem yet," board member Patrick Jeannin said. "Why is that? Either, A: they don't see it, or B: they don't feel it."

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