Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2011

Letters to the Editor

April 28, 2011

Thanks for the sky art

To the editor,

The Baldwin Elementary Primary Center/Intermediate Center PTO sponsored an amazing Sky Art event last week for the children. More than 450 students, staff and parents wearing red and black shirts formed the image of a Red Tail Hawk. It took many, many hours to put this event together. The purpose was to unite our children and teach them the importance of taking care of our environment. For those that participated, it was a huge success! One of the children whispered to her mother “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done.” And it is one they will remember.

Thank you to the PTO and parents who help fundraise for providing our children a unique learning experience. A big thank you to PTO President Christi Darnell for the many hours she spent coordinating, prepping, and executing the event as well as opening her home for Mr. Daniel Dancer, sky artist to stay overnight. Thank you Daniel Dancer for your inspiration. Thank you parents and fifth graders that helped lay out mulch & sand. Thank you Kelly Bethel-Smith for writing a Red Tail Hawk song and the PC Music teacher for teaching it to the students. Thank you Prairie Park Nature Center for sharing your Red Tail Hawk with us. There were endless others that volunteered their time. Thank you to all of them. What a wonderful group of parents who unselfishly give of their time to help make our school an exciting place to learn! I look forward to seeing the Red Tail Hawk in print.

Sincerely,

Joanne Kite

Baldwin City

Post here for vets

To the editor,

As Memorial Day approaches, the members of American Legion Lloyd Beaton Post 228 of Baldwin City ask citizens to remember all veterans and active duty military members for their service to their country, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Post encourages all active duty and veteran service members, and anyone who might now one of these individuals in the local area, to contact the Post if there is any way our members might be of assistance. The American Legion provides a wide array of services and is happy to help members and nonmembers alike with items such as deployment concerns, GI Bill, VA medical benefits and survivor's benefits.

The Post also extends a warm welcome to qualified potential new members. The Post meets at 801 High Street at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month.

You may write to Post 228 at P.O. Box 93, Baldwin City, KS 66006, or call Post Vice Commander Jeff Richards at 785-594-3092 for more information.

Jeff Richards

Baldwin City

Busing proposal is wrong

To the editor,

A recommendation has been sent to the Board of Education to eliminate busing to any student that lives within the city limits. Please understand, this means that even if your child attends a daycare outside of the city limits, your child will NOT be transported. They will pick up the children that reside at that address, but not the children attending the daycare that have an address within the city limits. It is my understanding that four of the Board members have already stated they will approve this measure.

I realize they are trying to do a lot of things with a shoestring budget. My dad would have said, “They have champagne taste and a beer income!” But not allowing kids on a bus, when it is stopping at that location anyway, is ridiculous! You cannot tell me this will assist the budget in any way! Of course, that would solve my personal problem, but what about the other members of our community? Many have no transportation. Tardiness and absences are going to sky rocket. Kids that have any difficulties academically may stop going altogether. Drop out rates will rise. What about the daycares (within the city limits that have been in the ‘approved’ pick up areas) that don’t have a vehicle to transport the children? Children without proper gear will increase their risk of illness.

Does anyone care about the safety and well-being of the children anymore? That is what made Baldwin City a great town to live in. We used to truly be a community that cared about one another.

In October of 2006 I corresponded with our School Board and City Council members, many of which are still serving, asking them to consider a fee for busing, or sidewalks for the in-town students. I was told, “They would definitely look into it.” I held both groups blameless at that time, but now, almost 5 years later, I do hold them accountable. They have done nothing regarding this matter. There are still no sidewalks and no options for busing. Not to mention that the school is now even further from town.

I am truly happy for the hand full of people that live and work in Baldwin City. Or, the ones that are lucky enough to be stay-at-home parents. They are truly blessed! But for the majority of our community, that is not the case. We commute to Lawrence, Topeka, Ottawa, the Kansas City area, etc. We leave town early and get home late. We cannot drop our kids off and/or pick them up from school. Why is their safety any less important than others?

Maybe we should all consider moving our children to the towns we work in to attend school. By not having the number of students, more importantly the funding for those students, the $30K USD# 348 is stating they will save will be a moot point.

Clearly, this has me upset. Not just for my situation, but for all of the kids that will never stand a chance because their parents may not make the extra effort to get them to school. I, personally, feel this is a very sad day for USD# 348 and Baldwin City. Our ‘great reputation’ is going to go right down the tubes! When our drop out rates increase, our test scores decrease, and our crime rate increases won’t that be an impressive sales pitch for people considering relocating here?

Please contact your Board of Education representative immediately! Let them know that transporting the children of our community, thereby keeping them safe and off of the streets, is important to all of us!

Pattie (Shay) Myres

Baldwin City

Comments

uapinochet 3 years, 5 months ago

I hate to say it, but this is a direct result of the board closing the outlying schools. This is only the right thing to do. The children that deserve to be bused are those living in the immense of the southern half of the county. They also deserve to not be on a school bus for over an hour. Preferably, those rural children need to be on the bus no longer that 30-45 minutes. Of course, if the in town kids are shuttled home first, then that will increase the amount of time for those that are actually mandated to have bus service provided.

Maybe the rural kids can be taken home first, then the in town kids can be dropped off an hour after school lets out. I don't see a problem with that, do you? But of course, you would still have to pay a fee for it. I think that's it! That sounds very fair.

I think we can sum this up to buyer's remorse. When you campaigned to shut down the outlying schools, you didn't take into consideration all of the repercussions. That's pretty tough.

When you shut those schools down, the rational thoughts are that we will be busing these rural students further to school. Some much further. The rational way to deal with that is to cut off the in town busing -- not charging a fee for it. That's not the point. That's just an added bonus that the district will save 30K.

The point is is that the rural kids deserve the service of a somewhat quick bus ride home to and from school. If in doing so the district can save $30K, the hell yeah.

Maybe you in town parents can have a bake sale to buy your own bus!

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HeyUgly 3 years, 5 months ago

I must say that I disagree with this being "a direct result of the board closing the outlying schools". This is a direct result of misspending (for years) by USD# 348 Administration & the Board of Education. They can no longer rob Peter to pay Paul.

Unfortunate situations got them where they are financially, and the recent State and Federal budget shortfalls have not helped matters. However, if rumors are true, Mr. Dorathy got a raise with his recent two year extension. If that is indeed true, they clearly have not learned from their mistakes.

Heaven help the teachers next year when they ask us to bring in reams of paper, dry erase markers, etc! NOT HAPPENING! The teachers aren't the ones that created this mess...but they are the ones that will ultimately pay the price for it!

'City folks' vs 'outlying school folks' attacking each other is not helping the children. I don't know why this happened. It should have always been an issue of US, the tax payers, parents, and concerned citizens vs THEM, USD# 348 Administration & the Board of Education.

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Goldie 3 years, 5 months ago

I think you're both right / wrong but regardless everyone and I mean everyone regardless of your address is and has made changes for district survival. The powers that be ( now ) need to be held accountable

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Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 5 months ago

I think that our district may need to start charging all students that utilize busing and additionally expand coverage to those areas that were not previously covered. That would quickly identify which parents really need busing. Like our lunch program the costs could be subsidized for lower income families. Additionally, the State provides some subsidy already for those students that live further than 2.0 miles which could also be taken into consideration. With fuel costs rising as they have been and the district budget shrinking, we need every cost savings we can find. Busing has always had a no-bus zone that was not equitable since it was premised on the idea that living in town made it safe to walk to school. I believe that busing should be opened to students in town since since the walk forces the kids to cross numerous busy non-guarded intersections. Based on the astonishing large number of cars that drop their children off at the PC, IC and Junior High, it is clear that many parents are already paying to take their children to school. By placing a use charge on busing we could expand coverage and give parents a choice on what manner their children are taken to school. Perhaps we might see more kids walking and more families car-pooling while those families that really need bus service would have that option as well. My guess is that a charge of somewhere between $50 and $75 per month would be adequate.

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 5 months ago

I gotta love people like you Nathan whose answer is always give the inefficient over priced school system MORE money. That is always the way to solve the problem.

The OP is correct Champagne tastes and Beer pocket book that is the problem with our Public School system, they need to return to their core job and eliminate all the extras.

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greyghost 3 years, 5 months ago

Let's use the $30,000 in savings and put Elm Street through with sidewalks and everything. Let's fast track the broadening of 56 west of 10th street all the way through past Hilltop. Sidewalks are amazing things. So are stop lights. We need one at eighth street and 56 hwy.

One of these days ..... years down the road.

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