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Patrons plea to school board

Currently Baldwin City has the capacity to school 880 elementary students; this is including BEPS at 320, BEICS at 280, VES at 140, and MSES at 140. According to both the Enrollment Report (http://usd348.com/?dl_id=52) and the Facility Planning Report (http://usd348.com/?dl_id=53) the reason why we were building the new primary center was to prepare for growth in enrollment. That being said, with the new primary center being able to hold 480 students instead of 320, the total amount of students that would be able to be taught would be 1040 with both MES and VES staying open. If we closed MES and VES, that would bring the total capacity down to 760. Why would we spend all that money to have less capacity than what we started?

I understand needed to cut the budget, especially after all the money we’ve spent in our tax dollars to build this new primary center, but wouldn’t closing MSES and VES be like shooting ourselves in the foot by making the problem worse? According to the Enrollment Report, by the 2016/2017 school year, we’re expecting between 677 and 884 in enrollment in the elementary level. Considering for the 2009/2010 they were expecting between 629 and 735, and actual enrollment was 687 which is just a little higher than the average of the two numbers, I’ve decided to use the average of 677 and 884 which is 780. With that number of 780, that means we would actually be over capacity in our elementary schools in merely 6 years. Surely, this isn’t what we had in mind when we planned these new schools, is it? The sad thing is, we would have been able to handle 780 with the schools we currently have.

It seems to me we’re now going to have our children suffer, and yes, they would suffer larger teacher to student ratios, because of some very poor planning by the school board. Regardless of what some of the people post on here, the numbers don’t lie. Marion Springs is a superior school, one of the best schools in Kansas. Having Marion Springs test scores helps bring more tax revenue into our district and our county for our schools.

Those that post that BEICS is just a few percentage points lower, would they continue to be that high if there were larger classroom sizes? For just one example of how class size can effect student performance, please visit http://www.aera.net/uploadedFiles/Jou.... There are many other studies, if you need more sources, I would be happy to provide them for you.

May 14, 2010 at 3:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )