Archive for Thursday, December 9, 2010

Letters to the Editor

December 9, 2010

To the editor:

After reading the opinions about the proposed district budget cuts on the Baldwin Signal’s website and attending the public hearing, I think I finally have some clear conclusions!

1) Apparently Baldwin residents are dastardly criminals that care only about robbing small children of their education. 2) Mr. Dorathy and the members of the school board are villains that are conspiring to increase class sizes (by no more than three per class) and therefore effectively ruining the lives of hundreds of students! And 3) Apparently re-allocated funds simply disappear from the budget never to be seen again!

I am nearing the second half of my senior year and lately I have been saddened. It seems that in my elementary school years I suffered a terrible fate. According to the opinions I have read and heard, Baldwin Elementary School is not fit for students. I sure wish I had known that back when I started kindergarten! Who knows where I would be now if I had attended Vinland Elementary School or Marion Springs Elementary School? Maybe by this time in my life I would be an Eagle Scout, or have won a national engineering competition, or even better... met the president! Yeah, we better not close those schools, we cannot afford to send students to BES, just look how I turned out!

With feigned sincerity,

Brandon Baltzell

Eagle Scout

National Champion

BES Alumnus

To the editor:

Fashionably late is something I cringe at, but fashionably late I am with this.

I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce of Baldwin City for the fun time citizens had Nov. 20 during the Holiday Parade of Floats. While I had a pervious commitment, I was assured it was fun and turnout was great.

Baker University submitted a float, Baker’s Veteran Memorial, which was dedicated to all students, faculty and staff who served our country, and we won first place.

While this is exciting for us, the true winners are those who will benefit from out first-place winnings. Proceeds have already been spent and sent the food pantry at Baldwin First United Methodist Church. It is our sincere wish that this small contribution will help bring comfort and strength to our neighbors.

I also want to thank those who helped on the float. Without these people, we never could have pulled it off.

Jen McCollough, David Routh, Lynda Lewis, Brenda Walden, Erin Falter, Deborah Shields, Phil Hannon, WoWzer — all Baker employees — spent personal sweat and time in creating, decorating and presenting the float to Baldwin.

Thanks to Myra Glover and Cleo Langley for their patience in getting us information and providing a professional introduction for our float. And to Nancy Richard for contacting “fans” of Baker to help, especially since time was critical.

Thanks to Bill Clement, John and Bette Stefanik, whom I can’t thank enough for their penmanship and tireless effort in writing names on our memorial wall. I know how stiff my had was and how my neck popped after hours of writing, and you three put in more time writing than any of us.

Thanks again to all who helped and to the Baldwin community. Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Kelly Garrison

Float committee member

To the editor:

Thanks to all who helped make my 90th birthday celebration a wonderful occasion. I very much appreciated all the cards, e-mails and phone calls I received. I was so good to see all my friends.

I hope to see you all again in 10 years.

Pat Young

Baldwin City

Comments

ksrush 4 years ago

Brandon, well stated young man. You give a fresh prospective to a drawn out arguement. I think many adults lose sight of the fact the kids have a voice and are the actual reason for the debate in the first place. Nice job

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greyghost 4 years ago

I have not heard one negative remark about the past quality of education at BES. I think some parents, even those in town, are worried about the future of the elementary schools if the rural schools are closed. Is it not okay to ask these questions of the board?

Dastardly criminals? I know you're joking, in a sense, but you sound retarded when you say dastardly. The average class size will jump from 17.28 to 21.4, which is more than three. Re-allocated funds? I've never heard the board refer to such things. I've heard them say "savings," but never re-allocated funds. See, when they say we are "saving" this much money by closing schools, we are actually spending said "savings," so they are not really saving anything. We are not trimming the budget! Isn't that what we need to do? I know that's not what the Kite's want, but they don't live in town, so their taxes aren't so bad. Good for them.

All of your arguments use exaggerations and can't be taken seriously. Maybe you could enroll in some critical thinking courses to help you better prove a point.

It's funny the eagle scout needs to create an imaginary situation in order for himself to publicly flaunt his scoutiness.

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Torch 4 years ago

The importance of class size is over-stated. When I was in school my classes were routinely between 27 and 30. In college? Some were over 250.

Class size is the teachers' way of saying they don't want to grade any more papers.

You've drank the Kool Aid. You think more money and smaller classes will make a big difference. They won't. The top 20 percent in every class will succeed even in spite of their instructors. The middle 50 can be worked with. The bottom 30? Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too. It's time we stop listening to the propaganda about how tough teachers have it and how we have to spend $23 million in order to teach better.

The kids don't care where they go to school. They don't care how big their class is.

All of this is about the parents and teachers and has absolutely nothing to do with the students...and frankly those who use their children like this should be ashamed.

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greyghost 4 years ago

You, of all people, should be preaching to the superintendent and the board about the "savings." Have you done that? Do you understand that these are not savings at all. That is what they are calling it. You believe them. You have drank the Kool Aid, not me.

The leadership in this district is not trying to save any money for the tax payer. They don't care!!!! They will cut teachers and close schools, only to turn around and spend those dollars ($200,000-$430,000) on, well, whatever they want to spend it on. So you are going nowhere -- you are gaining nothing!!!! You are just cramming kids into schools that were not designed with those populations in mind.

So, Torch, after all is said and done, what is your take on this? Your mill levy is still the same. Your sales tax is the same. Your debt service is the same. The only difference is that your kid has more students in his/her classroom. Oh, and there are less teachers. Less citizens helping pay down that debt.

Wake up, dude. It's not all that difficult.

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Bloggerboo 4 years ago

All schools will be able to stay open. That is the savings. Not as in, money we can put away for a rainy day.

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BigCat 4 years ago

Torch, the importance of class size is not overrated. I remember hearing something about this at one of the meetings. Please check out this link, and then come back here and tell me small class sizes don't matter.

http://www.heros-inc.org/star99.pdf

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ksrush 4 years ago

Ghost, so you like messing with high school kids and the disabled ? Has your cause come down to that now? Cant wait to see the Kamikazi parents at the Board meeting Monday night.

It's funny an"adult" needs to create an imaginary situation in order for himself / herself to publicly flaunt his / her stupidity.

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greyghost 4 years ago

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I think it is very backwards to close down two buildings that are paid for at this point in time. The IC and the PC were not designed to house the rural students. I think if the mill levy that is in place runs off any more district patrons, we won't need the extra "paid for" room that the rural schools provide. Let's at least wait until the population drops.

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ksrush 4 years ago

I think its pretty backwards to keep 2 schools open that serve less than 10% of the districts population K - 5 no less. Its also backwards to cut and water down programs and rescources disrtict wide to the point that it effects all the kids educations. The IC and PC were designed to house students rural or otherwise period.

Now you want to let the population drop to close down the schools because the mill levy will run off the patrons. Per your idea, less population equals less money, equals less for the school(s) equals higher taxes, equals more mill levys. We are in that exact position right now. Hello ????

Here is a challenge put out over the last several months with no takers to date. Come up with just one financially responsible / sound reason VES and MES will benefit the district by staying open.

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greyghost 4 years ago

Challenge? Jesus F. Christ. Okay. Running 10% of the district on less than 2% of the budget makes a whole lot of sense to me.
Now, what say you?

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ksrush 4 years ago

Sounds like someone needs to stay away from caffine and stop eating paint chips . A - hole

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BaldwinDad 4 years ago

So you get a response to your question and you insult the person giving you the answer.

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ksrush 4 years ago

I get tired of reading fiction

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greyghost 4 years ago

My response to your challenge was fiction. I am sorry. The actual percentage of the rural schools compared to the rest of the district is 14%. So, the district spends 2% of its budget on 14% of the district. That just makes economical sense.
Do you have any other challenges? Eh, maybe you should just keep quiet before you embarrass yourself more!

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sportsfan 4 years ago

I agree ksrush. Congratulations on your scholarly achievements, Brandon, and also for completing a marathon and serving as an integral part of the cross country state championship team. http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2010/jun/17/baltzell-completes-fargo-marathon-personal-goal/

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Justask 4 years ago

Not one negative comment about the education at BES, Ghostie? I don't think we've been attending the same school board meetings.

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greyghost 4 years ago

What was said? Who said it?

I think many people have said that if these closures happen, then there will be several negative things about the elementary school system. I've never heard anyone say anything negative about the current BES schools and their respective quality of education.

But, apparently, you have heard some things that I haven't. Can you expand upon your claim?

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greyghost 4 years ago

Where did JustAsk go? It was just getting good. Oh well, you probably don't have anything of substance to add to this thread anyway.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years ago

Brandon misses the enitre point and actually makes no argument - just a bit of a snarky commentary that he disagrees with his perception of what is being discussed. But, that's okay. Not many of us can say that we had much of a large vision at his age. Life experience is what usually allows one to look at a big picture. I'm sure that eventually, Brandon will get there.

I don't think there has been much discussion of bad eduction at the BES-PC or IC. What people are worried about is what is going to happen when class sizes increase. We are worried about the evidence that we continue to have a non-forward looking school board. We are upset that a small contigent thinks it's just fine to change the basic goal of providing stellar education to our younger kids (which, I might add, was one of the major "selling" points of the unnecessary bond passed last) and that two high-level schools are facing closure due to pure and unadultered stupidity.

Here's one part of the scoop: You got to take advantage of a good education while attending elementary school in Baldwin. This drive to close the two rural schools in question diminishes that opportunity for my small children.

The ability to be effectively sarcastic is amplified when one begins with an accurate premise. You haven't quite gotten the first part down.

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BaldwinDad 4 years ago

The student above is simple ignorant on the issues he is speaking of since no one at that meeting was saying anything negative about the BES or that they are inadequate schools. This is an issue constantly brought up by those who advocate closing the rural schools. The reason they do this is to once again distract from the real issue which is poor management of the District and a lack of leadership and focus.

Mr. Dorathy has said that closing the rural schools was his idea and that he brought it to the school board, but yet he waits till almost 6 months to a year after making the suggestion to confirm that new schools will actually be able to fit all the kids with out using storage rooms and closets to house kids in. Sounds to me like more poor planning that led us to having the last Bond passed that was going to solve all these issues.

Also Mr. Dorathy claims that their will be a savings, once again Mr. Dorathy has admitted that this is a not really true, there is in fact NO savings from closing the rural schools. He will simple be taking money from the budget that is being spent on K-5 education and spending on god only knows what at this point since he has proven over the past 3 years that he is not capable of forming a solid plan and sticking to it.

The true ignorance in all of this is if the schools are closed and the money reallocated we still be looking at budget cuts next year, so in effect we will have closed two schools reallocated the money from K-5 education to somewhere else and then next year be sitting here with 20+ students per class with even LESS money then when we started out with, but hey the teachers will be making an extra $100 month before taxes and we might have a new Activity Director for the kids at the High School. Perhaps he will teach Ditch Digging 101 as Torch points out.

So you see closing the rural schools accomplishes NOTHING...we will still be short on funds next year we will still have to make additional cuts next year and we all will be back here next year arguing the same exact things.

The real solution here is to eliminate the poor leadership and direction that this district has received from Mr. Dorathy.

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ksrush 4 years ago

want some cheese with your whine

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BigCat 4 years ago

Hear, hear BaldwinDad. At least I know that I am not alone in thinking this is an outright FOOLISH decision based on what the district has stated that they are going to do with the money.

What I want to know is what is going to happen when this $400K savings doesn't materialize? What if it is only $300K, $200K? Would it still be worth it to all elementary students' parents to know that their kids' education was compromised for a measly $200K? Anybody?

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ksrush 4 years ago

Need to give the anti - consolidaters credit. Reality does not stop you !

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greyghost 4 years ago

When you were posed with reality (as stated above), you avoided it and ran away. What's up with that? Let me guess -- your first grade teacher was preoccupied with the other 23 kids in class and you didn't get the attention you needed. That's a damn shame that you turned out so ignorant.

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ksrush 4 years ago

How is it grown people ( I'll use the term loosley adults ) can't grasp a simple concept like consolidation. Who says the schools are closed end of story - anyone ? If the economy does make a comeback later and there are still residents left in Baldwin there will be 2 schools ( paid for ) for acommidate students.When the vote comes out tonight and the schools consolidate hopefully that will be the end of the bogus number crunching, endless hair brained cost saving scenarios, petty bickering and so on. It won't, but at least the school dist will be moving in the right direction. Maybe you and Bald Dad can have a good cry party and bore everyone to death in Tuesdays blog.

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