Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2007

A second chance

August 23, 2007

Just 32 votes short of passing last November, the school bond issue is back giving us a much needed second chance to do right by our children, schools and communities. The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education focused only on the district's most dire needs; cutting the previous $105.7 million bond issue by a third. Voters will be presented with two separate questions: Proposition No. 1 for $51 million and Proposition No. 2 for $19.5 million. Please visit the bond issue section at www.USD232.org to see details of the proposed projects.

Our district's enrollment growth is astounding -- 333 percent since 1990 and an additional 1,000 students in the next 3 years. With growth, comes the need for resources.

While bond opponents have criticized the district's spending, two recent designations suggest exactly the opposite.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the Kauffman Foundation commissioned Standard & Poors School Evaluation Services to conduct an independent educational efficiency study of the 300 school districts in Kansas. USD 232 was one of only 21 districts receiving a 100 percent efficiency rating for most effectively using financial resources to optimize student learning; and it did so with the second lowest dollars per student core spending level.

The district also earned the highest Gold Medal designation in the 2007 Education Quotient Ratings by Expansion Management Magazine; placing it in the top 16 percent of all U.S. school districts. The ratings included data on spending and focused on academic results -- test scores and graduation rates.

Our district's performance is truly impressive. We have adequate class sizes coupled with excellent facilities and technology.

Isn't it worth a few dollars a month to ensure that we provide the best public education possible? Invest in our children. Invest in your community. Invest in your property values. The time to impact the future is now. Submit a "yes" ballot by noon on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Lisa Burke

Shawnee

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