Archive for Thursday, December 17, 2009

Patrons want rural schools to be closed

The Baldwin School Board listens to patrons speak during the public comment portion of Monday's meeting.

The Baldwin School Board listens to patrons speak during the public comment portion of Monday's meeting.

December 17, 2009

Before the Baldwin School Board announced its budget cuts, a pair of district patrons spoke in favor of closing the two rural elementary schools.

Both patrons addressed the school board during the public comment portion of Monday night’s meeting. First to speak was Mike Behrend, who said he represented several parents who were unable to attend the meeting.

“The cost of keeping our smaller schools open is greater per student than in our town schools,” Behrend said. “This has always been an issue, but in today’s economy, it’s more of an issue. There is the possibility that the state will cut our funds even further, which means that teachers and programs are going to be cut and fees will be raised. If this happens, we may lose students to other school districts and lose further funding from the state.

“The one thing that could keep this from happening is to close the two outlying schools and bus the students into Baldwin,” he said. “One thing we need to remember is wherever kids go to school, it’s only a building. The teachers, curriculum, etc., will be the same regardless of where they go to school. All of our students and teachers in the district need to work together to keep our district solvent for the future.”

The second patron to voice his opinion was Roger Taylor. He began by praising the district, because he was happy about how his five children were treated during their time in the district. Then he had a suggestion to avoid cutting programs.

“As a small business owner, I have to make hard decisions every day,” Taylor said. “If you have to consolidate schools and facilities, it sounds like a logical thing that educated people would do. I don’t think there is much of a choice there. Cutting programs out of these schools isn’t an option. We’re building a brand-new school, so let’s consolidate. It only makes sense. We need to keep our programs and extra-curricular activities.”

No decision was made Monday, but the district will be forming a budget committee to look at all possible options for saving money. The schools referred to are Vinland and Marion Springs Elementary Schools.

Comments

BaldwinDad 4 years, 10 months ago

I would be VERY upset if they decided to close Vinland or Marion Springs and bus students into Baldwin. Some parents have chosen to take their children out to those schools since they are better performing then similar Baldwin classes, so stating that the curriculum would be the same is obviously incorrect if the outlying schools always score higher then Baldwin.

Perhaps we need to look at cutting things like Athletic Programs before we look at cramming kids into already full class rooms.

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

I have heard the comment several times that the Baldwin Elementary schools are not large enough to accomodate the rural school kids.

Should be interesting to hear how this plays out.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

It's about time that this action is finally being discussed. I understand those parents that want to fight to keep those two schools open. But it simply does not make economic sense to do this. Plus, as a resident of the city and therefore a patron of BES I am not interested in my tax dollars subsidizing the education of the kids who go to MSE and VES. I believe it is a well known fact that the dollar to child ratio is much, much lower at BES than at either of the other two schools.

Let's all get real here folks. We are bank rolling a ridiculous $22 million dollar bond issue and we are so broke that we are cutting custodial staff. How are we seriously going to maintain this palace on the west end of town and still try to keep open the other schools open and running?

It's time the school board swallow hard and have the cajones to open up this discussion and make decisions based on what is good for the community at large rather than the special interest groups (vocal MSE & VES parents). And yes that means standing up to the the attorney here in town who will start squawking about lawsuits. It may mean that some will lose friends over this issue. Well so be it. It is obvious we are in crisis mode and this discussion needs to be front and center. Sweeping it under the carpet and making more cuts to other programs is irresponsible and ignorant.

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

I found a website onling that shows the total expenditures for our District to be $8,258,628 in 1998-1999 compared to $14,829,958 in 2008-2009. I don't think the rural schools caused an 80% jump over the last ten years. This was a steady increase, too, not just a jump in 2008-2009 for bond issue matters.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

I am sure a part of the steady increase was exorbinant health insurance rates. Just like everyone else, expenses keep rising.

Does that website say how many students were in the District in 98-99 as compared to 2008-2009?

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes - 1998-1999 FTE was 1,241.4 and 2008-2009 was 1,359.4. About 9.5% increase

0

uapinochet 4 years, 10 months ago

solo (Anonymous) says… It's about time that this action is finally being discussed. ................................................................................................. Actually this has been beaten to death over the past ..... forever. This seems like a great idea and money saver -- to shut down the outlying ELEMENTARY schools -- but at what cost? The IC and the new PC are not designed to hold these students. The student to teacher ratio would be worse for all students. Those children that need that extra one-on-one attention will not receive it -- that in and of itself will lead to more issues than you or I can comprehend. Here's what we're looking at: http://usd348.com/schools/enrollment/ Remember, Pre-K through Fifth grades would be moved into the PC and IC here in town -- that's an additional 184 students.

0

BaldwinDad 4 years, 10 months ago

I like how solo who talks about closing a working schools with the best scores in the area as needed before we start cutting other programs, an activity which solo calls irresponsible and ignorant.

Let me see last I checked the School's first Priority was educating our children with Math, Science, and English. Perhaps before we start closing schools, busing students, laying off teachers and others. (since if your going close the school you will need less staff), we seriously need to look at cutting other programs that while beneficial to students is not necessary with the primary goal of educating our children.

Personally, I would like to see some hard #'s on the difference in costs and what we spend on all the activities at the school.

0

greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't think Ande will mind my regurgitating this: (copy/paste directly taken from here: http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2009/feb/26/district-eyes-885k-budget-cuts-2009-2010-school-ye/#c4030 )

2 March 2009 at 1:48 p.m. Suggest removal Permalink

andeparks (Anonymous) says…

  Thanks to all of you who already stepped up with some figures on the potential savings of closing one or both rural schools. I'm probably wasting my time with Torch, as I think this is at least the third time I have corrected him or her on this, but for the rest of you:

  One of the first jobs on the facility committee's plate was to determine what we needed to build. To do that, we had to figure out a long-term vision for the number of schools being operated by the district. So, DLR put together some figures on savings associated with closing the outlaying schools. Assuming we wanted to keep similar class sizes, those figures were:
  Savings of about $136,000 in closing Vinland
  Savings of about $163,000 in closing Marion Springs
  Total of about $299,000 annually in closing both schools
  That figure reperesents 1.9% of the district's operational budget

  What's vital to understand (as someone above pointed out) is that those kids would have to be absorbed into the infrastructure of the Baldwin schools. Those schools, particularly the PC, would struggle mightily to absorb that many kids. More money would have to be spent on some kind of facilities to house the extra students.

  Given those factors, combined with the enviroment and performance of the outlaying schools, the committee felt the potential savings did not justify any closures. We then proceeded with a plan to address the district's needs, including a new PC that would house all of the district's pre-K programs, as well as the students currently being housed at the existing PC. That building would not be built to house the kids from Vinland and Marion Springs.

  As I've said here before, the facilities committee spent many months studying these issues. It was a complex and daunting process, and I think the committee did an excellent job with it.

  Finally, I should say that, if the state follows through with the worst case funding cuts that we have heard about, everything will be on the table. If they cut a million dollars from our budget next year, we won't have any choice but to look at some extreme options. Let's hope we never have to face that reality, but we are trying to be prepared, just in case.

  Best,
  Ande Parks
  Board Member, USD #348
  594 3292
0

sparky 4 years, 10 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't it been pointed out to us by the school board that the new school being built, is not designed to withstand the additional students from Vinland and Marion Springs. It is being designed and built to allow for minimal growth. Not to mention the never-ending complaints of ALL the schools being close to capacity. So if we close the other two schools, does that mean that we get to vote for yet another bond issue to expand the overpopulated schools again, that way we can be paying on FOUR school bonds at the same time. Sounds like a good plan to me.

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah - I can picture it now. Brand new elementary schools with portable classrooms out in the new playgrounds. Sweet.

There is pork to be trimmed in other places.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

Baldwindad, What other programs do you suggest we cut? I am not a big athletic fan and haven't been to a BHS football or basketball game in years so please don't assume I am all about sports.

What I am a fan of is a good education for ALL of our students. Ok--you say your kid is getting a superior education at MSE or VES--fantastic. Wish my kids were getting the same at BES because my taxpayer dollars are subsidizing your small classes.

I want us to have money so we don't let good teachers leave the district (and believe me they have left in droves in the past few years). I am a fan of keeping and expanding classes for those high achieving students. (Why is it that education caters to the remedial students but ignores the best and brightest of the group?)

Districts all over the state are having to consolidate--why are we any different. In fact we are "lucky". We have a big new school to put all the kids into. I don't believe for one minute that new school can't accommodate all these kids.

I am skeptical about anything that this school board and this administration declares as "fact". All I know in that in my humble opinion this whole district has been sold a bill of goods for years and now in the infamous words of Rev Wright of Chicago, "our chickens are coming home to roost."

0

hipgrrrrl 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe we can just dump all those kids who go to MS and V (both were rated higher than BC on Great Schools, btw) into our new performing arts center. It has 600 + seats :).

Actually, it it weren't inconvenient (and if I were just a smidge less happy with the education my eldest is receiving at BES), I'd for sure be sending my kids to Vinland or Marion Springs. Those schools are higher rated, have a much better pupil to teacher ratio and every single parent I know who has a kid in either school is thrilled with the education and attention their kid receives. That is not the case with Baldwin City.

Of course, I'm a fan of vouchers...I wish Kansas wasn't so dominated by the public education lobby.

0

happymom 4 years, 10 months ago

What are the class sizes at the IC and PC? I hear a lot about Marion Springs and Vinland having smaller class sizes but don't recall hearing/seeing actual numbers. I am curious to see the comparison between all elementary schools in the district.

0

uapinochet 4 years, 10 months ago

happymom: I'll post the link your asking about again: http://usd348.com/schools/enrollment/ I take it you didn't take time to read everything before you posted. Great attention span!

Solo: "Wish my kids were getting the same at BES because my taxpayer dollars are subsidizing your small classes."
Here's the deal: If you think your kids aren't getting a great education at BES, you should blame yourself for being a slacker of a parent. I'm sure it's much easier for you to blame others though.

0

uapinochet 4 years, 10 months ago

If these rural schools do get closed, I bet we can get some good deals on FEMA trailers -- after all it's just buildings!

0

switchingplaces 4 years, 10 months ago

The decision to close the outlying schools is a no-brainer. At the VERY least the 2 schools need to be combined with VES being occupied and MSES being sold. When the new PC is opened MSES will lose the 15 4 year olds currently attending there and I would not be surprised if a few other students from both schools request to move their attendance to the new school. VES and MSES are sucking the district dry. With their lower teacher:student ratios I would expect nothing less that their current above-average test scores but that is certainly no reason to keep them open. I hope the current administration and school board have the backbone to deal with the emotions and do what is best for the entire district.

0

Rob 4 years, 10 months ago

This is a joke, and an old one at that. The rural schools are paid for and produce excellent results. If the child to teacher ratio is too low (and too costly) in the country, how about we bus some Baldwin kids out to the rural schools to balance things out? Actually, the rural schools have similar class sizes, and combine grades under one teacher if they don't have enough students.

0

happymom 4 years, 10 months ago

Uapinochet: No need to be so hateful and rude. Your link did not give me the information I was looking for....how many students in each class? Student to teacher ratio for each school? I am curious to see if the class sizes in Baldwin are that much bigger than the rural schools.

0

Spiderpig 4 years, 10 months ago

There is a reason that their test scores are always so high. NO special education students. Those students come in town to school. It will be pretty sad if the board continues to fire good employees and not even consider closing these money pits.

0

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

Would somebody point me to the evidence that actually shows MSES and VES are better schools. Hipgrrrrl cites GreatSchools.com but if I'm not mistaken, doesn't that rely primarily on parent input... hardly objective. The fact is that all five of our schools are very good and regularly achieve the "Standard of Excellence," as measured by the state.

If people are concerned about where to put extra students, I have a solution. It's sitting right at 8th and Chapel. I know Mr. Dorathy and Mrs. Cleavinger had us all convinced that the building is inadequate but one thing it does have is a lot of classrooms. When I went to school there a while back, the three story portion of the building had three classrooms for each grade plus an bonus "activity room" for each grade. Seems like two schools with 10 kids/grade could easily add a fourth class in that building. I know it would be a shame to not move into our new building immediately (we could still use it long-term) but desperate times call for desperate measures.

The real culprit here is administrative costs. We have a principal, two vice principals and an AD at the BHS; a principal and vice principal at the BJHS; and principals at four elementary schools. As if this isn't ridiculous enough, the HS and JHS are right across the street and the new city grade schools will be right next to each other. Do we really need all of these administrators. These folks make at least twice as much as every teacher. You wanna talk about cutting costs...

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

uapinchoet I fail to see how not wanting to subsidize this supposedly superior and admittedly unequal education with my tax dollars makes me a "slacker parent". this "slacker" wants to see the hemorraging in this district stop and good teachers and programs being maintained for ALL students....not just pouring money into the little dream world you folks have going out there at MSE and VES. sorry these are "desperate "times as straightfoward so accurately accessed it. No money left in the till to bankroll this insanity.

0

bc 4 years, 10 months ago

I love the talk of how BC residents are "subsidizing" VES and MSES. Last I checked, we all pay property taxes and I'm willing to bet some of the farmers/landownders out near those schools pay a heck of a lot more towards the school district tax levy than I do.

0

Torch 4 years, 10 months ago

Should have been done 5 years ago. In fact I remember debating this on these very forums back then.

Dorathy did a study and said it costs the district $200,000 a year (this was 2 years ago) to keep MS open. At the time he said it was 'worth it'. It wasn't then and it isn't now.

Close MS for sure and Vinland needs to be right on its heels.

Agree with solo 100 percent. Most of Baldwin has been living in a fantasy world for a long, long time. The Cleavinger Project (aka $23 million albatross) is a perfect example of the poor decision-making and devil-may-care approach this town has taken to spending.

The State is broke. We're broke. But 'it's for the kids' right? I love how so many people said: "The State is going to pay 'X' for our projects" even when we were on the cusp of this recession...and people actually believed it!

Suckers.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

the hypocrisy of some of you folks truly amazes me. I don't even want to hear about the large property owners and farmers who "pay" to keep these outlying schools open. Give me a break. These folks perfectly ok with the whole district pitching in for the transporation costs of bringing their kids to these schools and into town to complete their education.

But many are the same folks who congratulate themselves on living outside the city limits of Baldwin and therefore don't have to pay the extra property taxes nor pay the high utility bills. These same folks probably were the first to scream when the city decided the free electrical subsidy(funded 100% by city residents) to the district for the ballfields was going to be halted and they would finally have to pay their fairshare of this because the bill goes directly to the school district.

0

reparmn37 4 years, 10 months ago

VES and MSES always do well when you are teaching a class of 10? how many are 1st graders? how many are 2nd graders? 3rd graders? and so on. At the primary center, the 1st grade classes have AT LEAST 19 kids in each room. Can you control 3 or 4 1st graders or 19??? Saying the outlying schools do well is correct when you have a VERY SMALL class. I do not know the numbers of kids at VES and MSES, but I do know the population at these schools are very small compared to the primary center. Doing any comparison is unfair to the teachers at the Primary center.

0

BaldwinDad 4 years, 10 months ago

solo the reason that uapinochet</B called some complainers a slacker parent cause instead of complaining you could take the time every morning and DRIVE your child out to VES or MSES if you wanted to rather then have them go to BES.

An yes solo your a hypocrit as well for spouting off about how you Subsidize VES and MSES, well perhaps those rural parents and other parents whose children attend MSES and VES are tired of subsidizing your new schools when they are not getting ANY benefit from it.

I think hipgrrrrl hit the nail on the head here the REAL problem is the public education system in this country being run by the State/Federal Govt, if you were to privatize this you would eliminate allot of costs and have a much better performing school system, but you see the Education Lobby(NEA) is very vocal and write big checks to politicians so we are stuck with this money pit of an educational system we have now.

That being said as I have said in my previous posts I think there is pork to trim elsewhere, perhaps like straightforward mentioned do we really need that many administrators? I think we could eliminate half of those positions or perhaps drastic pay cuts and save allot of money, as well as trimming other non-essential programs before we look at closing schools.

0

BigCat 4 years, 10 months ago

Every person who pays taxes in this state subsidizes every school in the state. You can close one of the outlying schools and save $140000, but increase class sizes and diminish the education that kids receive. OR you could cut an administrator. In this economy, why do we need principal and vice principals and almost all the schools? Can't just one principal handle a school? If they can't, maybe they are not competent enough to hold the position anyway.Eliminating just one administration job would save the same amount of money. Also, why does the district have 3 Computer Support Staff who make ALOT? I work for a company that has a couple hundred employees and every employee has AT LEAST one computer. About 25% have two or three. This company only has 2 Tech Support people, and it does just fine. Eliminating one of these positions would save about the same amout as closing one of the schools. Both are better options than closing a school!

0

Cityboy 4 years, 10 months ago

This is going to get ugly:( From what I've read on this post no one has the right figures or facts and it is all hearsay. By doing this we are truly going to create bad blood and divide a community that needs to stick together. The “mean spirited” posts I have read are doing nothing to solve the problem. If the rural schools do close and there is bad blood in the process, good luck ever passing a bond issue again.
• I would say the average class size at MSE is around 17 to 22 kids. (again hearsay, we need to get the facts and I would expect some good investigative journalism by the Signal would unearth this dispute) … I know for a fact that they have combined classes … 3&4 grade and 4&5 grade • They do have special need kids in the school. • They are sharing a principal between Vinland and MSE. • Parent’s volunteer to help with projects for up keeping the property. • Heck the CSO just purchase 4 new laptop computers because the district passed over MSE for any new computers.
Whether rural or otherwise the bottom line is Baldwin has planned for expansion rather poorly. The bigger question is did we need to expand at all? Why did we build new schools? Why did we build new sports facilities? Has the overall student population really grown in the last 20-years? From a budget perspective, what has increase over the past 20-years? Facts … we need facts. If we are going to sell the rural schools, why not throw the district office/primary center in as well? I’m really PI**ED at the community as a whole, it’s a dog eat dog world and it’s a feeding frenzy in Baldwin right now.

0

jmyrick 4 years, 10 months ago

Cityboy, good post and welcome to the online community. Jimmy is looking into class sizes and we will have a story on that as soon as possible.

0

BaldwinDad 4 years, 10 months ago

Cityboy, good point we need concrete #'s not this what I think or feel.

I also agree there seems to be ALLOT of poor planning going on with this expansion.

0

bakerboy32 4 years, 10 months ago

Folks we need to quit the fighting and start finding ways to save MAJOR amounts of dollars. Closing schools is going to be only one option, we need to look at major changes in class sizes, administrors, teachers, buildings, and reducing activities including sports, making cuts (limit teams to a certain number of players) in our activities in both the Jr. High and the High School. None of these changes by themself will be enough, but if the school board can take from all these and add a few more to the list we might be able to make it another year.

The Baldwin District has been afraid to make tough choices when it came to the above items, and that is one of the reasons we are in this position. Districts all around us have been doing these things for a number of years. People, the School Board is going to need to make a number of difficult choices this not make them out like a bunch of people who could care less about our students or the community. These choices will need to be made for the betterment of the whole district not just one area.

If you do not know this is a serious time in the State of Kansas, schools are not the only thing being cut and this will not be the last of the cuts for the schools. We not only need to find a way to not only cut more dollars out of the budget but find a way to put some money into a reserve fund. We have very little put away for a rainy day.

None of this is pleasant but it has to be done and I hope the community is not torn apart because of it, we need to really think twice how we treat each other in this forum. This not make it personal because this is going to be about dollars we do not have.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes, I will agree we need concrete numbers. However everyone is kidding themselves if they think this decision will not involve people's "feelings". After all this is our kids and our money--the two subjects nearest and dearest to our hearts.

I do not want to see our community torn apart over this either. But I am glad that this discussion is taking place. I am so tired of being held hostage to the notion that VES and MSES are the sacred cows of USD 348. Ever since I moved to this community I have heard that no school board would go near this subject if they knew what was good for them.

Hey, maybe closing these schools isn't the answer but It's time that everyone get engaged in the debate. It's time we let our school board know exactly how we feel and exactly where we want our priorities placed.

I am still stunned as a community we voted to fund a $23 million dollar project and just 1 short year later we have to axe custodians in order to make ends meet. (I know, I know --different budgets but it's outrageous nonetheless)

And BaldwinDad--I agree with you. The government has a stranglehold on education and it's a disaster. I have been a proponent of vouchers for over a decade.

0

jgillispie 4 years, 10 months ago

Hey everybody, we've got numbers on class sizes at each elementary school. Primary Center: Kindergarten — 63 students in 4 classes 1st grade — 79 students in 4 classes 2nd grade – 59 students in 4 classes

Intermediate Center: 3rd grade — 73 students in 4 classes 4th grade — 76 students in 4 classes 5th grade — 75 students in 4 classes

Marion Springs: Kindergarten — 12 students in 1 class 1st grade — 21 students in 1 class 2nd grade — 16 students in 1 class 3rd grade — 12 students 4th grade — 12 students 5th grade — 16 students (There are 2 combination classrooms. One has 3rd/4th graders and it has 19 students. The other is 4th/5th graders and it has 21 students.)

Vinland: Kindergarten — 11 students in 1 class 1st grade — 15 students in 1 class 2nd grade — 15 students in 1 class 3rd grade — 11 students 4th grade — 15 students 5th grade — 14 students (There are 2 combination classrooms. One has 3rd/4th graders and it has 19 students. The other is 4th/5th graders and it has 21 students.)

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

I guess those numbers blow the rumored one to one teacher pupil ratio out of the water for the rural schools. Plus, the rural schools share a principal. Maybe the IC and PC could too????

Like I said before, there are other ways to make the needed cuts. Some good ideas have been suggested on this thread.

0

uapinochet 4 years, 10 months ago

Way to go Jimmy -- you speculation killer, you!

0

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

Do the grade schools still have half-day kindergarten? The school where I went to kindergarten went all day, every other day. As it is now, we have to pay for buses to take those kids home at midday. In the grand scheme of things, that probably isn't a huge cost savings but every bit helps.

Another benefit to every other day kindergarten is each teacher can actually have two classes. This reduces the number of teachers needed and it also frees up additional classroom space, preventing overcrowding.

bc - as far farmers and landowners "subsidizing" the school district, I think you need to come to a realization that the businesses in town pay much more than we do in property taxes. Big Cat is correct. In a public education system, we all subsidize schools.

0

greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

I guess no one can use the "Well when you have ten kids per class.....blah, blah, blah" argument anymore.
So, that's it?

And, yes sparky, if these schools are shut down, expect another school bond issue soon after. Ridiculous.

0

solo 4 years, 10 months ago

Over Thanksgiving I heard an indepth news report on CNN about a school district in Ohio (I think) that got in such dire straights that the school board had to eliminate ALL sports for all grade levels. They interviewed parents and kids who chose to attend another district because they wanted to play sports. Many thought sports were an important part of the high school experience and couldn't imagine attending a school without them. However some of these kids thought they had a realistic shot at college athletic scholarships and therefore felt like they had to attend a different district in order to keep those hopes alive. After one year without sports the school board put it up to a vote of the entire community to re-establish a limited athletic program. This program would require an increase in everyone's property taxes. As you can imagine the community was widely split over the issue.

I found this a very interesting story and an extremely bold and gutsy move by the school board to state they were cutting all sports programs in order to concentrate on their primary mission--to educate children.

Bakerboy is right on with his comments. ALL options in USD 348 need to be examined and ALL in the community needs to speak up--not just those who currently have kids in the system. All who live here are stakeholders in this decision.

I started my rant about MSES and VES not because I think it's the only answer to this problem but because its time for all sacred cows---including the athletic programs, busing, administrators, teacher's contracts, health insurance etc be openly and honestly discussed.

We need real leadership in this area. Now is the time for the superindentant to stand up and be counted. Now is the time for thoughtful, non emotional voices of reason on the school board to be bold and courageous. True leadership can often be a lonely place. That is why this country has so few of them. I hope for Baldwin's sake we might be lucky and have one or two leaders out there willing to step up and be a true leader, not just be an emotional mouthpiece for a small special interest group.

~~~oh yes, the above mentioned Ohio school district~~~they voted in November to raise taxes and reinstate a limited athletic program. To that particular Ohio community, higher taxes were worth it. Interesting.

0

bc 4 years, 10 months ago

straightforward,

Where did I state that farms/landowners are "subsidizing" education? All I said was they pay more that I do, which is precisely the same statement you made about businesses, "they pay much more than we do".

Honestly, I think it's irrelevant to this discussion what everyone pays in taxes towards the schools, but some on here think/give the impression that "rural" folk don't pay enough taxes to be allowed any argument for our district's schools.

I too agree with Big Cat that we all contribute through taxes for education everywhere, which is exactly the point I was trying to make.

0

straightforward 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying in your post bc.

0

BigCat 4 years, 10 months ago

Another question that needs to be asked is why are there TWO busses that run through the Firetree development and neither one is full? There is ALOT of waste in the school district that needs to be addressed BEFORE considering closing a school. I am a parent, though I do not have children of school age, and when they do attend school it would be in Baldwin. Having said that, I would HATE to see VES or MSES closed.

0

bc 4 years, 10 months ago

straightforward, I probably wasn't clear enough, so no biggie.

BigCat, not that you're incorrect, but is there a chance that the busses are at one end of the route, where there might be a chance kids are either not all on the bus or either mostly dropped off? Could you share about the other waste you refer to in the district?

0

reparmn37 4 years, 10 months ago

Jgillispie

Please recheck your numbers. The PC only has 3 second grade classes. You state there are four.
Is any of your other information in error?

0

happymom 4 years, 10 months ago

According to the PC website, there are four 2nd grade teachers.

Betsy Daniel, Teresa Hiatt, Danita Price, and Stephanie Ramirez.

0

jgillispie 4 years, 10 months ago

reparmn37,

Thank you for pointing that out. That was a typo. It should read the PC has 3 second grade classes. I double-checked the rest of the numbers and those are correct.

Jimmy Gillispie Baldwin City Signal staff writer

0

Justask 4 years, 10 months ago

Anyone consider charter schools? I don't know what the laws are in Kansas but I think this is definitely an option that needs to be considered. If the school board makes the decision to close a rural school, what are the chances of setting it up as a charter?

0

b8es 4 years, 10 months ago

Why don't we just have a bake sale?

0

jmyrick 4 years, 10 months ago

Good idea, b8es. My money is on the Pie Lady and her sister. I'm guessing pies for Marion Springs wins. I know where my money's going -- chocolate pecan. Swear to God. Best pie I have ever had. Should be served hot, though. Thank God for microwave ovens.

And, yet, that said. Some of my all-time favorite pie moments, and there have been many, have occurred at the Vinland Fair. Hmmmm. Whatever shall I do?

Eat pie. Lots of pie. It's for a worthy cause.

0

switchingplaces 4 years, 10 months ago

I am a little concerned about the budget/fact finding committee Supt. Dorathy has put together. Sounds to me like it is not a varied group and each member has their own agenda. Additionally, isn't it the School Board members jobs to gather information, form opinions, then make decisions? Now the district is going to pay release time for these staff members to attend committee meetings during the school day. Seems to me like the district would benefit from some kind of internal audit where staff job needs are identified. I do not feel we are putting out money in the best places-too many administrators and not enough school nurses for starters.

0

hipgrrrrl 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm with Jeff. All problems could be (or at least should be :) solved by eatin' pies - and while I'm a cake type myself, this chocolate pecan pie might just make me walk over to the other side...

Regarding a prior post by solo and the complaining about those who "congratulate" themselves by avoiding the insane mill levie our community voted in, I just don't see how that makes a bit of sense. If my community is short sighted enough to think this porkish endeavor makes a whit of sense, it's not my responsibility to ensure that it costs those folks less by staying in BC and paying for something I voted against. If I could have, I would have voted against it twice! Besides, if I moved out of BC, I'd probably like to have my kids at MS or V...and even if my kid got to go put on his/her program at the new auditorium, that doesn't mean I think it is sensible to have built it OR that it's my responsibilty to take financial burden off of someone who did want it.

As an aside, did anyone ever figure out what happened to the monies found to be missing when the new Supt. did an audit a few years ago?

0

Julie Craig 4 years, 10 months ago

Who is on the committee switchingplaces? I can't find a story about that. Are the meetings really held during the day?

0

curious 4 years, 9 months ago

I love what Rob said: "... The rural schools are paid for and produce excellent results. If the child to teacher ratio is too low (and too costly) in the country, how about we bus some Baldwin kids out to the rural schools to balance things out? Actually, the rural schools have similar class sizes, and combine grades under one teacher if they don't have enough students....."
- although, this wouldn't exactly save money b/c we're building a big new school that will need lots of maintaining. Something needs temporarily cut until the economy improves.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.