Archive for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Mail Call: Yes for our schools, children

November 2, 2006

On Nov. 7, voters will face many issues with valid arguments on each side. The De Soto school bond issue isn't one of them. While opponents build a case based on opinion, USD 232 and its supporters stand on indisputable facts (see www.usd232.org/bond issue). USDA August 2006 statistics indicate the average cost to feed a U.S. school-aged child is between $4.43 and $7.98 per day. Isn't it worth 18 cents a day (per $100,000 home value) to feed their minds for a lifetime?

At the Oct. 26 school board bond forum, one gentleman asked how to justify Shawnee's higher tax values to potential buyers of his home if the bond issue passes. The simple answer is that if the bond issue doesn't pass, he may not have any potential buyers in the first place.

Has our district experienced a 46 percent rise in enrollment since 2000 because we have the lowest property taxes? Absolutely not. All new housing developments in this area tout the "Award-winning De Soto Schools." According to The 2004 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 19 percent of homebuyers listed school quality as their deciding factor. We can't afford not to pass the bond issue.

We have excellent public schools. The overwhelming success of our district will foster a projected population surge of 400 percent by the year 2030. We are seeing signs of overcrowding now and will soon face increased class sizes. After months of research, the Board of Education voted unanimously to present the bond issue to the voters to address the needs (not wants) of our district in a way that provides the best value to the taxpayers. The debt will be issued only as needed and will support the district's growth for four years.

A small investment in our schools is a priceless investment in your child's future. Please vote "Yes."

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