Friday, February 29, 2008

The Overcrowding Myth


Kids packed like sardines in classrooms, barely able to move about, unable to hear the teacher, and no elbow room to work on their math problems.

Of course that's not an acceptable scenario. So how do we fix the problem? The first step, would be to figure out how overcrowded Wichita schools really are.

Using USD 259 statistics (I already saved it, don't bother taking it down now)

It looks like the total district has capacity for 55,437 students. With a total enrollment of 48,770 that means existing facilities are being used at 88% capacity.

Here's how it breaks down:

High Schools - Capacity 13,006/Enrollment 12,763 - Utilization 98%
Middle Schools - Capacity 14,335/Enrollment 9,921 - Utilization 69%
Grade Schools - Capacity 28,095/Enrollment 24,271 - Utilization 86%

Monday, February 25, 2008


This little tidbit from the USD259 Website was downright shocking....

"The $350 million bond issue would address many critical needs for Wichita and its students:
Additional classrooms to accommodate growth in key areas of our community and to reduce class sizes
What's new?
School projects
Bond Issue Fact Sheet
Voter Registration
Build 60 safe room storm shelters
Support the end of busing for desegregation with renovations to schools in the AAA area to provide equitable facilities
Renovates or rebuilds aging and unsafe physical education, athletic and fine arts facilities."

UNSAFE? The District Leadership is continuing to allow our children to use UNSAFE facilities? If the facilities are unsafe, they should be closed immediately. Essentially, the School Board is threatening the health of our children until this bond issue is passed.

With competent management, the capital outlay budget, 2000 bond issue, and windfall of state money should be enough to keep kids safe. Instead, the District has decided to use the safety of Wichita Children as a bargaining chip in their quest for a new bond issue.

Wichita Parents deserve a full explanation of which schools are unsafe and why the district is putting money ahead of safety.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Every once in a while, we all see something that at first appears normal, then suddenly strikes us as odd after thinking about it for a while. Lynn Rogers' editorial in the Sunday Wichita Eagle is one of those things. His piece was a point by point explanation of why we need another multi-million dollar bond issue, but was accompanied by an article that ended on an interesting note...

"The board hasn't decided what to do if the bond issue fails, said board vice president Lynn Rogers.

'We've not talked about any Plan B. I don't think there is one,' he said."

It's frightening that our school board and leadership are so shortsighted that they cannot, or will not, contemplate how to manage our school district without running up debt, and refinancing old debt.

It's common knowledge that USD 259 has been planning a bond issue for some time. The pieces are in place and the process is underway. The Eagle has already endorsed the bond issue based on a visit from Winston Brooks, Connie Dietz and Lynn Rogers.

Since USD 259 has an extensive Public Relations Department that will be doing everything possible to promote this bond issue and spin their version of the facts to support a 'need', I thought it might be interesting to shed a little light on a few of their facts. Welcome to Wichita 259 Truth.