District boundaries change approved
The school board member districts won't be the same in the next election.
The Baldwin Board of Education voted Monday night in a 5-2 vote, with Board Members Curtis Trarbach and Linda Rogers voting against, to approve the redrawn district boundary plan presented by the district boundaries committee.
"There were five or six patrons who came up to me and said they thought the committee proposal was an excellent one and fully supported it," Board Member Alison Bauer said.
The school board had three proposals from which to choose.
The approved proposal, designed by committee members Blaine Cone, Betty Bullock, Angie Burke, Maggie Hamilton and Debbie Oakleaf, maintains three districts, each district allowing the election of two board members and the election of an additional board member from one of the three districts.
The following are how the boundaries will be drawn for school board member districts:
District 1 All areas to the west and north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and 1700 E. Road (Sixth Street in the Baldwin City limits) plus the area within the Baldwin City limits to the east of 1700 E. Road and north of U.S. Highway 56. The population of District 1 is 1,921.
District 2 All areas east of 1700 E. Road from the northern boundary of the district to the southern boundary of the district excluding the area within the city limits north of U.S. Highway 56. The population of District 2 is 2,439.
District 3 All areas to the west and south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and 1700 E. Road. The population of District 3 is 2,235.
The other two proposals the school board looked at included one that was presented at the last board meeting by Grace Schroer and another left at the district office last week by Ruth Barkley.
Trarbach made an earlier motion to approve the proposal designed by Barkley.
"I feel like it gives the better of the three options for rural representation," he said.
The motion failed when board members reached a tie vote, with Board Members Lonnie Broers, Ed Schulte and Bauer voting against it. Board Member Barbara Johnson abstained.
The question was raised by an audience member whether district patrons were aware the board was going to change the district boundaries. Only a few patrons attended Monday's meeting.
Supt. James White said he felt the patrons had plenty of notice about the changes.
"Certainly in the past, we've been open enough to the public," White said. "I guess I feel like the people felt they had enough information."
Schulte said he agreed.
"It's a pretty complex issue, but it's been going on for a year," he said. "That's a lot of time to have input on a proposal."
In other business, the school board:
Discussed the possibility of allowing advertising in Baldwin High School's newspaper and yearbook to help with the costs of publishing. The possibility of allowing advertising during athletic events was also discussed.
Rogers said she thought it was time to allow advertising in the high school publications.
"I think it's our responsibility in this day to look for alternative funding," she said.
Broers said he didn't think the high school should get into advertising.
"We're already saturated with it," he said. "It's refreshing to go somewhere and not see it."
White said there was concern about asking local businesses to buy advertising when they're already asked for money throughout the year for other school functions.
He said he would talk to other schools about their policies.
Heard a presentation from Baldwin City Recreation Commission Director Monte Ezell and Friends of the BCRC President Katie Skinner about soccer field improvements.
They told the board that Friends of the BCRC is applying for a $100,000 U.S. Soccer Foundation grant and would like to use the field space east of Baldwin Elementary School for the soccer fields.
If the organization received the entire grant, three different sized soccer fields would be built. The grant would also allow for a parking lot, lighting, fencing, a concession stand and bathrooms.
In order to apply for the grant, Friends of the BCRC must have a 15-year lease on the land from the school.
Broers suggested instead of using the block east of BES, that the Friends of the BCRC and the district look at the possibility of placing the soccer fields out near the new elementary school.
Skinner and Ezell said that would work well. The board will address the issue at the Nov. 11 meeting.