Archive for Wednesday, March 17, 2004

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Wanted: Opinions about bond issue

March 17, 2004

Are Tonganoxie school district officials going too far in talking about asking voters to approve a $25.6 million bond issue? Are they setting themselves up to fail?

The district, which has had a difficult time attracting patrons to informational meetings about the bond issue, is contemplating a bond issue that would finance construction of a new middle school, along with work at the elementary school and high school. The existing junior high and high school would become an attendance center for ninth- through 12th-graders. And kindergartners through fourth-graders would attend classes at the elementary school.

It's clear that changes must be made. And it's clear that the elementary school is overcrowded. It's one of the largest -- in fact, the sixth-largest -- elementary schools in Kansas. Administrators have had to be more than creative to schedule simple things, such as lunch or music or art.

So it seems logical that voters would get behind measures to alleviate overcrowding at the elementary school.

But will patrons take that extra step and back the full proposal? That seems to be the $25 million question.

Should district officials take a lack of interest in community forums as a sign that voters are not interested in the bond issue and simply will vote no?

These questions continue to swirl around the proposal for a school bond issue. It would be beneficial to the entire district for patrons to start expressing their opinions -- either for or against a bond issue. If the proposal as it stands is beyond the bounds, in voters' opinion, it would be best if district officials learned that now -- rather than during the Nov. 2 election.

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