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House Bill 2504

February 02, 2016

Why Be Concerned About HB2504?

The purpose of this article is to inform you of the ramifications for Goessel of House Bill 2504.  This bill being studied by the House Education Committee would bring all five school districts in Marion County under one administrative office.  The reasoning according to the sponsor of this bill is to save money.  I would like to offer some thoughts as to why I do not support this and why I ask you to also go on record with our legislators to oppose it.

Loss of Local Control

My first concern is the loss of local control.  By moving to one centralized office, our community would no longer have direct local control about what happens in our schools and how our money is spent.  Currently our seven board members all come from our community.  We would be fortunate to retain one seat on a county-wide board.  With the erroding of  local control, it would not be long before larger schools would want us to consolidate with them.  

Community Identity

The school district is what draws our community together.  All ages and all faiths gather to support our children in academics, sports, fine arts, and activities.  It is not hard to imagine what would happen to our town and community if the doors were closed on our schools.

Other Points to Consider

  • The KS Legislature hired an out-of-state firm to do an efficiency study that cost tax payers $2.7 million dollars.They made six recommendations for education, none of them recommendations for consolidation.In fact, they concluded the savings to be too small and the ill effects too great.

  • Test results indicate that student achievement in smaller schools in generally higher than in larger schools.

  • Small schools enjoy outstanding support from their community.Moving students into larger attendance centers results in more anonimity.

What Can You Do?

Write or e-mail our legislators.  Rep. Don Schroeder can be contacted by e-mailing him at don.schroeder@house.ks.gov and Sen. Rick Wilburn can be contacted by e-mail at rick.wilburn@senate.ks.gov  You can also e-mail the chairman of the House Education Committee who is Rep. Ron Highland ron.highland@house.ks.gov  Let them know you do not support HB 2504.  You may also contact John Fast at the USD411 office.

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