Last summer Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback asked for the public’s input on how to fund education.
If his State of the State address was an indication of what he learned, the governor liked the ideas that fellow Republicans have suggested for years: merit pay for teachers and school choice measures. He also said the state should create a program for grading schools.
Political Writer John Hanna with the Associated Press reported in December, “Superintendents and local school board members told the governor’s office in emails this fall that the state should return to using a formula that distributes ‘base’ or ‘foundational’ aid per student, with ‘weightings’ to provide extra dollars for each child with special needs. They also argued for full state funding of all-day kindergarten programs.”
Seeking input from those with first-hand knowledge and direct involvement is always a good idea.
Closer to home, our local school board is now seeking public input on long-range facility needs. In the fall, then-Superintendent Brad Reed brought in an architect to present his preliminary proposal for two major building/renovation projects. But for reasons unknown to the public, Reed and the school board had differences and by the end of the year the superintendent had retired/resigned. Proposal shelved.
We’d expect people who use the district facilities every day to have a good idea of what maintenance and improvements should be done, but it never hurts to get more input. Anyone who wants to add his or her 2 cents worth call fill out an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/usd428communitylongrange. The survey is open until Monday, Jan. 23.
Meanwhile, it might be a good idea to reschedule the canceled tour of the bus barn on Williams Street. The general public probably has no idea whether that facility is fine or should be replaced with a new building costing more than $1 million – or something in between. Those who work in the building have already given their input to the architect and should be able to show the school board what is needed.
There are others are out there who have noticed building needs or dreamed of grand new improvements. If you’re in either category, fill out the survey. It’s your chance to weigh in.