by Steve Noble
Let me start with a disclaimer. These thoughts are my own and they do not necessarily represent the thoughts of the USD 410 Board of Education, faculty or staff.
For the past many years, our board of education has faced the challenges of budget cuts like many other public school boards across our state. We have cut services in counseling, busing, maintenance, custodial, food service, administration, coaching, and yes…even teaching. We have tried to maintain the excellence you expect from USD 410, but our funding challenges are immense.
You?ve heard (listened?) about the challenges with school funding. You?ve seen it on TV, on the Internet, in newspapers and social media.
If you are a parent or grandparent of a current student in our schools, perhaps you have felt the cuts first hand. Perhaps you have noticed fewer coaches, reduced music opportunities, no cooking classes at the high school, and fewer counseling services.
Many of you older parents remember a longer school year but shorter days, a town bus route, and block scheduling at the high school. All of these items listed were either cut completely or modified to save money.
Friends of USD 410 and Kansas public education, we need your help. Our governor and several of our legislators in Topeka have taken us down the road to ruin. No longer are the income tax cuts imposed in 2012 viewed as an ?experiment.? They are an epic failure.
Revenue dried up and additional taxes were added to compensate for some of the lost revenue. We are now paying record high sales and property taxes and it is past time to repair the damage the income tax cuts have done to our children, our communities and our state.
Most of us know how to repair this. We need to re-balance our three-legged tax stool so all of us pay our fair share of income, sales and property taxes.
It is time to get in the game for your public schools. Without your advocacy, we will face further cuts and program reductions.
Quality schools are the cornerstone of a quality community and for many years our schools and community exemplified that relationship. Contact your legislators. Tell them your story of cuts you’ve noticed as a parent or grandparent of a student in our schools. We need your help.
Steve Noble is superintendent of USD 410.