Comment history

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

From my understanding, there was some concern about the maturity level of 5th graders being able to "co-habitate" with 7th and 8th graders. I think they've done a good job of somewhat "isolating" them, and have shown that 5th graders can handle it. But it begs the question about how 4th graders would respond to this. As a parent of a child entering 4th grade, I have my reservations of throwing her into a school with 7th and 8th graders. And Ithat's even with considering her as "above average" in terms of maturity.

June 15, 2012 at 12:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

I'd really be interested to see your architectural renderings of building these small additions. Will they be built over the playground? Will we build up... on top of the existing building? What will something like this cost? Remember, the plans for a brand new school include moving 5th grade back to the grade school, thereby alleviating the expected overcrowding there. With your plan, will we build enough additional space to do that, or will we simply build more additions each subsequent year?

June 15, 2012 at 11:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

I NEVER said that ANYone is dumber than me. Please don't paint me that color.

I will stand by my belief that many people do not seem to be considering that this project will cost A LOT more in 3 to 5 years. Interest rates are at an all time low. Building costs are low. The State aid is expected to be removed from near-future budgets, but is in place for projects approved now.

If you believe that there is a need for the grade school, but you are tax adverse, the truth is that addressing this now will mean a smaller tax hike than 3+ years from now. If we wait until the economy is "better" (something that will always be subjective), the increase to property taxes could easily be twice as high.

If your "reasonable conclusion" is that you'd rather pay $30/ mo in 3 years than $15/ mo now, then say that.

June 15, 2012 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

Thank you, Big_Dan, for your service on the Board, and for the insight into your thoughts and the goings-on with the Board.

"...for every option one group likes another dislikes and so on." - You couldn't say it more accurately. There is no perfect solution that everyone will agree on. Heck, even if the District won the lottery and planned on building a school with those proceeds, some people would have a problem with it!

The truth is that we will not make progress until people commit to understanding the financial aspects (the risks of waiting even a couple years vs. doing it now), understanding the needs (the current overcrowding and inability to make any headway by simply adding more trailers or building a small wing), and getting over their grudges with former or current staffmembers. I find it interesting that a person could in one sentence say that they are normally one who votes yes for anything that's for the kids in the community, but that they voted "No" on the last bond, and that they're against anything for the District because of a few certain staffmembers. It's my opinion that that's a disappointing example to our kids of how to act as an adult.

June 15, 2012 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

And to those who think, "I went there, and it was good enough for me..." If we consider that 18 is the minium age to vote, and we assume that the average age of a 6th grader is 12, then no one voting in November has attended the grade school since 2006.

Since then, we've opened the Middle School, and moved 5th and 6th grade out of the grade school. Still, the grade school exceeds the ideal capacity by 100. What was fine for you 10+ years ago is not going to be fine for the children of 3+ years away.

And it's already too late for a lot of the kids in the grade school now. A new school won't open until maybe 2015. This year's 2nd graders will have one year in the new school. This year's 3rd and 4th graders will be in the middle school, but at least they'll be able to benefit from the overcrowding that will happen in that building if we don't take care of the grade school mess now.

My point is... As Bernie_G said in response to a prior article, this isn't something we "WANT", this is something we "NEED". And the financial benefits for doing this now, as opposed to waiting again, are a silver lining. I don't want to pay more, either, but I don't want to pay twice as much later down the road.

June 14, 2012 at 10:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

Education IS about learning anc character building. BUT, education IS also about buildings. Consider this from the U.S. Dept of Ed...


- In a District of Columbia study, students in buildings in poor conditions had acheivement scores 6% lower than those in "fair" buildings, and 11% lower than those in "excellent" buildings.
- A study in 1996 in large, urban high schools in Virginia found that student achievement was as much as 11% lower substandard buildings compared to above-standard buildings.
- A 1982 study concluded that heating and air conditioning systems appeared to be very important, along with special instructional facilities (science labs or equipment). Proper building maintenance was also found to be related to better attitudes and fewer disciplinary problems.
- Research indicates that air quality inside a school may significantly affect students' ability to concentrate. Evidence suggests that children 10 years and younger are more vulnerable to than adults to the contaminants found in some school buildings, i.e. asbestos, radon, formaldehyde.
- Other studies have found correlations in regards to the impact of poor buildings on the teachers' performance.
- A study of overcrowded schools in New York City found that students in such schools scored significantly lower on both math and reading exams than did students in less crowded schools.
- Additionally, overcrowding and heavy teacher workloads created stressful working conditions and more teacher absenteeism.

While not cited in this link, there are also studies that show the effect of natural lighting on learning, and many other factors, as well. I will concede that you could probably find some studies that suggest the opposite, but I think you'll find more evidence that yes, better facilities equal more learning/ better attitudes/ stronger performance on standardized testing/ less absenteeism/ less disciplinary issues/ etc.

June 14, 2012 at 10:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to hear public comment on bond issue

Yes. Yes. Yes! This isn't a Republican vs Democrat issue. It isn't a Tea Party vs Elitist issue. It's a TONGANOXIE issue! Thank you for showing me there are more elephants that feel this way than just me!

June 7, 2012 at 11:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to hear public comment on bond issue

I apologize. That last part about "paying your way" doesn't sound like how I meant it. My point is that there are many people in this community that see the need for a new grade school, and are passionate enough to pay double or more of the property tax increase. Sadly, we can't. I hate to see national political beliefs "trickle down" to local politics. If you want change in Washington, and I believe that's what at the core of the Tea Party movement, then elect officials that will office in Washington! But locally, you simply MUST consider what effect it will have on everything you see on a daily basis. If you don't want growth... if you don't want new people coming to town, paying taxes, shopping at B&J Country Mart, enrolling at Anytime Fitness, eating at Jalapeno's or Bichelmeyer's, and maybe, just maybe, inspiring someone to start up a new business like H Avenue or Elle's or Jalapeno's, well by all means, don't support this.

June 7, 2012 at 11:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board to hear public comment on bond issue

Ugh. We meet yet again, kansanjayhawk. I'm not going to argue against your Tea Party beliefs of "fiscal responsibility" and "belt tightening", but I want to ask you this... What good does not being willing to spend $10-$15/ month LOCALLY to replace an old, over-crowded, problematic grade school... what good does that do us on a national scale? You want less and less spending. At what point does that start to hurt us when companies look to move to our area? At what point does that hurt us when families look to move to our area? At what point does that hurt us when our children's education is damaged, in comparison to students of other cities, counties, states, countries? Again, I'm not going to argue against fiscal responsibility, but let's try to remember that it means BEING RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR MONEY. It doesn't mean stop spending it on useful things. I could tighten my belt by not paying any of my bills, but what good's that gonna do when they foreclose on everything? I have a responsibility to pay, and we have a responsibility to put our children in a school that isn't grossly overcrowded, a poor learning environment, and has brown recluse spiders in the quonset hut. If you can't squeeze $10 to $15/mo out of your wallet, hit me up. I'll pay your way.

June 7, 2012 at 10:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tonganoxie council member, former administrator facing off in Leavenworth County Commission race

It's noble to set out without the intent to personally attack people, but while you're regretting some of your comments, remember the good points you made. Personally, reading back through other's responses, it seems like they made your comments out to be a whole lot worse than what you actually said!

June 4, 2012 at 9 p.m. ( | suggest removal )