Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Planning for Something

The public relations staff at USD 259 has been touting the new bond issue proposal as important to "the continued growth and vitality of Wichita schools" and "the future of our community."

We need only look back a few short years to clearly see the abject failure of Wichita School District's attempts to project and meet future needs. Lets take a look at some of the new schools built within the last five years:

-Horace-Mann Magnet. Built in 2003. Will receive $2,400,000 under the new bond issue proposal for 4 additional classrooms, a new gym, locker rooms, and commons area. No additional student capacity is expected.

-Stucky Middle School. Built in 2003. Will receive $840,000 in additional funds for 3 new classrooms and $750,000 for an 8 lane running track, for a total of $1,590,000 in new bond funded construction.

-Washington Elementary. Built in 2003. Will not receive any new construction dollars from the proposed bond issue.

-Enterprise Elementary. Built in 2003. An additional $1,500,000 will go towards constructing 4 new classrooms, a mechanical room, additional storage rooms and a 250 seat cafeteria.

-Jackson Elementary. Built in 2004. Although Jackson is only at 86% capacity, it will receive $1,995,000 in bond money for 11 new classrooms of various kinds.

Under the current bond proposal $7,485,000 will be spent on facilities that are less than 5 years old.

As the old saying goes "if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail". The USD259 leadership has certain met both parts of that statement. Instead of building during the new construction phase when it would have been much less expensive, the district leadership expects Wichita taxpayers to pick up $7.5 million worth of their inability to adequately plan.

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