Archive for Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Change is not the end of the world

November 1, 2000

To the Editor,

Some thoughts to ponder before the Nov. 7 election:

1. A vote YES for a 7-at-large school board election process would mean patrons would have the opportunity to vote for the "most" qualified candidates. Candidates that would view USD 348 as a whole, not as the three separate entities as it seems to be now.

2. A vote NO means that even if the "No" vote wins, things will still probably change. Why? Because according to Kansas statute, the school board would have to look at population numbers compared to the way the district school boundaries are currently drawn. Keep in mind, that this would not be redrawing boundaries to decide what school students would attend, but would redraw boundaries for the areas the candidates would represent.

For example, the Marion Springs district might move in to encompass the west part of Baldwin City. The Vinland district might move south to encompass the new development by the Palmyra fire station or maybe even farther south past Ames and on.

It was announced at the September board meeting that this "look" at the way the districts were currently drawn would happen if a "No" vote wins.

Change is difficult. Growth in our part of the world seems to create even bigger problems. This debate and division among people reminds me of approximately eight or nine years ago when the district first talked of sending ALL of the sixth graders into Baldwin to school. The Marion Springs patrons were NO! NO! NO! The Vinland patrons were NO! NO! NO! And, I'm sure, there were a fair amount of Baldwin people also saying NO!

But, it happened, and guess what? Everyone survived! And, I imagine, that those past sixth graders, current sixth graders, and even future sixth graders have benefited or will benefit from that decision.

What happened to the concept of doing what would ensure ALL of our USD 348 students a quality educational experience? It would be my hope that if you are committed enough to run for a school board seat, that you would certainly be looking out for ALL of the students, not just the ones in your specific school area.

If you think the current system in place is working, then no amount of reasoning will change your mind. I've urged patrons repeatedly to attend the board meetings and see for yourself. Yet, every month, it seems to be the same faces. If you really care about the future of our district and ALL of the USD 348 students, you will vote "Yes" on Nov. 7 for the 7-at-large.

And, oh yes, when you find the time, drop by a board meeting. Once a month for a couple of hours. Doesn't seem like too much to ask or amount of time to spend when you are talking about issues that concern our children (who by the way, are our future). Respectfully submitted,

Peg Wessel (former Vinland parent)

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