Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2001

Children’s needs should be our top priority

Letter to the Editor

February 8, 2001

A few years ago, the constituents of this school district turned down two bond proposals. Back then, I heard it all. Youthful taxpayers without children had their hearts on a different set of priorities and didn't want to pay more taxes to help educate their future children. They didn't have the vision to see how it would benefit them.

Tax payers with children were so burdened trying to make sure they provided every indulgence for their offspring that a tax to help education was just one too many. Older taxpayers had the attitude of "been there, done that."

Obviously not all of the above scenarios were felt by the community at large because the issue did pass.

Of course, the new school looked great, but I immediately knew it was too small. I told my husband we would need a new school in four years. OK, I missed it by a year.

This brings me to the present and it's d vu all over again. While I read the comments of school board members, a fear came over me that our board members might consider themselves more a guardian of the taxpayers' money than an advocate for our children.

I was once acquainted with an architect who told me it had been his experience that a bond issue never passed unless the classrooms were so crowded children were hanging out the windows. Tell me, why does it have to be that way? Why do people cherish their money more than their kids?

At the time of the last bond issue, the cost of educating one child was approximately $4,000 per year. At that rate, one child would cost the district about $50,000 from kindergarten to graduation.

Today, given the figures published in the Eudora News, it takes approximately $6,000 per year.

It is so important that everyone fully understands that education is never cheaper than now and that even if they live to be 110, they will never pay enough school taxes to pay for one child's education. Parents of school- aged children always have been, always are and always will be dependent on other constituents to help pay for their children's education. That is why it is so important for the community to support local businesses, because they pay out the nose for you.

I appeal to each board member to take stock of why you wanted to have that job. Stand up and be counted for the children. Take a chance to make decisions based on what's good for them, not the popular vote. And to every taxpayer and voter, please don't hang our children out to dry because you couldn't adjust your lifestyle to accommodate their future. Remember, one day, they will be taking care of you.

Donna Beecham


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