Poll

West Elk USD - 282 Bond Issue

Voting YES
3 (37.5%)
Voting NO
5 (62.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: June 07, 2014, 10:02:10 AM

Author Topic: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond  (Read 14052 times)

Offline Mom70x7

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From the Friday, May 16, 2014 Independence Daily Reporter, by Greg Lower, Staff Writer

Rumors and misunderstandings have complicated a bond election to construct elementary classrooms at West Elk School, the superintendent said.

On May 27, Elk County officials will send out a mail ballot for a $4 million bond election by the West Elk school district. The ballots, due back by noon June 17, will decide classroom and elementary school gym additions.

West Elk Superintendent Bert Moore said the current school building, built in the 1980s for seventh through 12th grades, has a capacity of 360 students, not 600 as some rumors claim. At the time, elementary students attended schools in Moline in Elk County and Severy in Greenwood County.

In 2009, voters turned down a proposal to construct an elementary school in Howard, possibly in an effort to keep the elementary schools open, but they were closed. This year, some of the elementary students attend classes in the main West Elk building, but most are in four modular buildings with two classrooms each. The campus has a headcount of approximately 340, with some 160 pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and 150 seventh grade through high school seniors.

"My board has been looking for over a year at facilities," Moore said. "Facilities were a priority."

In November, officials mailed out a survey of priorities. Moore said some people received two copies, because the survey targeted groups including parents, staff and the public.

Of 1,700 surveys mailed out, 409 responses were returned, and the school board worked with Independence architects Heckman and Associates for early design proposals.

Besides constructing eight elementary classrooms, totaling 13,880 square feet, the proposal would build a 11,558-square foot elementary physical education classroom north of the existing high school gym annex, which would be tied together with the main building for security.

Security is an area of concern, Moore said, after mass shootings including at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"Right now, we have doors everywhere," Moore said, and people go in and out several times every day. "I have parents very concerned their kids are targets."

Elementary, middle school and high school students use the same detached gym, which they reach through a covered walkway.

One reason to put the issue on a ballot in June came from debate in the Kansas Legislature to end state support for bonds and interest on new facilities. Moore also said they were concerned the district would lose state funds for enrollment weighting with new facilities. Those proposals did not pass the last legislative session.

But an issue that did pass could help the West Elk proposal. House Bill 2506, passed as a result of court-ordered increase in education funding, wil increase state aid and offset some local taxes. Moore said the bond proposal seeks a levy of 10.8 mils, but the reduction in local taxes will be 4.8 mills, resulting in a 6-mill increase for school district taxpayers.

Ross

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 09:23:50 PM »
Statements in Red are what was posted from the previous post.
My response and opinions are in BLUE.

 
Parts of what Mom70x7 posted.

"West Elk Superintendent Bert Moore said the current school building, built in the 1980s for seventh through 12th grades, has a capacity of 360 students, not 600 as some rumors claim."

The rumors are not rumors. I quoted Mr. Moore from the School Board Meeting, during open session of the meeting and he said the school was built to handle 600 children. So who is he lying to, the School Board or Independence Reporter?

But the story printed in the Independence Daily Reporter is not supported by any documentation

I have to ask why, did he go to the Independence Daily Reporter instead of the local paper, The Prairie Star, with this story?


In 2009, voters turned down a proposal to construct an elementary school in Howard, possibly in an effort to keep the elementary schools open, but they were closed.


They were closed against the wishes of the taxpayers. They were closed to set up this situation, which is not fairing well, is it? The School Board simply wrote off the people that voted, ignored the majority of the taxpayers.  They were to busy having their little picnic and laughing to discuss amongst themselves the consequences of their actions.  They acted just like the Obama Administration. To me it came across as blatantly clear to me it was all about Howard. With 75% of the district voting no and 75oward voting yes. That is exactly what I mean, it's about Howard.

They told the state they saved $150,000 and it has cost the taxpayer a great deal more. A great deal more is $500,000 for 4 double class rooms. They do not need to replace 8 class rooms that are that are that  expansive That real reason is to acquire a 2nd gymnasium. They have openly showed that what they want is professional sports arena. All you have to do is read the School Board Minutes to figure that out and use a little critical thinking.

 An economist says. Just as every action is motivated by an underlying incentive, every decision has a related consequence.  What is the underlying incentive.

These people will complain about the conduct and spending of the Federal Government, then they do the same thing on the local level!


The campus has a headcount of approximately 340, with some 160 pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and 150 seventh grade through high school seniors.

#1. We have been experiencing a decline in our enrollment for 12 of the last 15 years resulting in a loss of nearly 200 students since the 1992-93 school year. West Elk USD #282 is the largest employer in Elk County.

#2. Consolidate the elementary programs to one campus - @$128,000.

#1. & #2. Were copied and pasted from KSDE at http://www.usakansas.org/content/1/West_Elk_USD_-_Superintendent_Bert_Moore.pdf
You won't find the $500,000 for portable buildings to be able to close the two grade school buildings.

My elders always said, "Believe none of what you read and only half of what you see." Where is the state documentation?  Some people will believe anything, even if there is no proof.


Security is an area of concern, Moore said, after mass shootings including at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
 
This is simply a fear factor generated to accomplishing getting the ballot passed. If they had any real  concerns they would close all the doors but one and have a person assigned at that door. They could use School Board Meetings to discuss what can do now with what they have on hand.

When the Moline Grade School was open they had a door bell at the front door and a camera connected to a monitor at the front office.  However many times I walked up to the door and found it open. No one was really concerned.

You see all the incidents like Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut happen in very large metropolitan area's. Do you see a metropolis in Elk County. The School Board has taken no actions, and I don't believe anyone even pays attention to bullying until it gets way out of hand. Which shows that simply writing a policy does nothing. Students have even complained when they report abuse nothing gets done.


Elementary, middle school and high school students use the same detached gym, which they reach through a covered walkway.


Isn't this what the School Boards actions have brought about! And isn't because the School Board went against the voters and taxpayers wishes?


One reason to put the issue on a ballot in June came from debate in the Kansas Legislature to end state support for bonds and interest on new facilities. Moore also said they were concerned the district would lose state funds for enrollment weighting with new facilities. Those proposals did not pass the last legislative session.

None of this has anything to do with the size of the building.
Enrollment weighting has to do with the number of students and our population continues to decline. FTE enrollment for budget purposes (higher of line 1, 2, or 3)(Goes to page 1, line 1 if no military provision; see Table IV.)
=315.0   from the USD Form 150
Taken from
2013-2014
ESTIMATED LEGAL MAXIMUM GENERAL FUND BUDGET at http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/budget/Budget_at_a_Glance/13-14_Summary/F150-282-2014.pdf


But an issue that did pass  help the West Elk proposal. House Bill 2506, passed as a result of court-ordered increase in education funding, wil[color] increase state aid and offset some local taxes. Moore said the bond proposal seeks a levy of 10.8 mils, but the reduction in local taxes will be 4.8 mills, resulting in a 6-mill increase for school district taxpayers.

How come in the first sentence of the paragraph just above this paragraph we have the disclaimer,"bcould". then we have the more positive (it is not my spelling error wil[color]?  This definitely points out he is unsure of what he is saying. Why do you suppose that is, I'll tell you, it's because there is no money from it yet! It might be subject to change. Also, according to KSN 3 the state is in financial trouble. If we are fortunate to receive any money from the state aren't we the taxpayers entitled a tax break after all the years of wasteful spending by the School Board Elites?[/color][/b]


Todays Prairie Star newspaper says in big bold letters, "Bottom line on West Elk USD 282 bonds:
equivalent increase will be around 4.8 mills."

But folks up above and I quote , "Moore said the bond proposal seeks a levy of 10.8 mils".
 
He use's creative arithmetic to come up with 4.8 mils. You see we should get a reduction in property taxes which should be the difference between the two numbers. Or a 6.0 mil reduction in property taxes.

Oh and please be sure to read the letter to the editor from Wanda Mills, a terrific letter in my opinion.

The real bottom line is that we do not need and I emphasis need another gymnasium or eight class rooms or another office. When is enough, enough? When they have the School District in financial trouble like the state and the nation? Would that be enough?

The security that West Elk USD 282 needs is security from the School Board and the School Superintendent!
It's all just my opinion through out this post. Take it or leave it, your choice. But get that ballot filled out and mailed is as soon as possible. Gods speed and good night my friends.

Be SMART, be SENSIBLE, be FRUGAL, re-open the Moline Grade School and save millions and all problems solved.

Be SMART, Be SENSIBLE, Be FRUGAL,   Just say," NO "
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 12:25:30 PM by ROSS »

Offline frawin

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 10:54:14 AM »
Good Post, Mom, thanks.

Ross

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 12:28:34 PM »
Good Post, Mom, thanks.

I totally agree Frawin Good Post.

Showing the Superintendent making  the big time (LOL) with the Independence Daily Reporter has got to have put a feather in his hat.

The superintendent said in the Prairie Star that the bond issue was decided on the use of surveys sent out to 1700 registered voters and only 409  responded, that is a very poor responses. Which is a strong indication of one of two reasons for considering that survey and using mail in ballots. The survey shows in my opinion that the majority of people were not interested in a $4 million dollar bond and therefore did not return  the rigged survey, rigged because there was no option to say no. Out of the ones that were returned, many were either marked all 0's or had contrary remarks. Also I bet the Superintendent and the School Board see the apathy shown by the survey as perhaps people will have the same apathy voting on the Bond Issue.

Please folks be sure to fill out the ballot, hopefully the "NO" box and get it mailed back as soon as possible.


Offline sixdogsmom

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 03:48:58 PM »
Have these been mailed out yet?
Edie

Offline sixdogsmom

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 03:51:00 PM »
Never mind, I reread the article and find that they are supposed to be mailed on the 27th of May.
Edie

Ross

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 07:11:59 PM »
A school building designed for 600 students
 and only 300 Students attending,
does not need expansions.


That is foolishness.

Besides The School Board Members Don't Expect You To Pass It.

They Have Said So At Several School Board Meetings.

Let's Not Disappoint Them.

They Are Already Planning To Run The Bond Issue Again In November.


Offline Mom70x7

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 08:41:11 PM »
Just so everyone's aware -

I think the bond issue needs to pass. I work there and know that the school is overcrowded. We're not doing our best by our students. This is one way to fix that.

I'm not doing to debate, not going to do any name-calling, shouting or yelling. If any of you wish to talk to me, I'm willing to converse.

Wanted, however, to make sure another viewpoint was presented.

Ross

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 10:15:29 PM »
Just so everyone's aware -

I think the bond issue needs to pass. I work there and know that the school is overcrowded. We're not doing our best by our students. This is one way to fix that.

I'm not doing to debate, not going to do any name-calling, shouting or yelling. If any of you wish to talk to me, I'm willing to converse.

Wanted, however, to make sure another viewpoint was presented.


It would help plenty if they used the space efficiently!


So you work there. That is very nice. And the taxpayers pay your wage isn't that nice too?
Does working as a teacher or a para or a cook and does that make you expert on the efficient use of the over abundant space?

So do you think building an second gymnasium is going to better serve the education of the children.

The West Elk School has been operating just fine since the School Board closed down the Grade Schools in 2009? That's 5years, what has changed?

Remember the reason for shutting down the Moline Grade School, do you. They said they decided to shut Down the Moline Grade School because it would not be fair to make the Severy  students bus the extra miles to Moline? What a phony excuse.

Then the school Board purchased the four portable buildings that provided the extra 8 class rooms required and installation costs for $500,000. They then started calling the portable buildings eye sores. This plan was designed mainly to build a new gymnasium and to do away with the portable class rooms.

But guess what the teachers were asking what the School Board was going to do with the portable buildings, they apparently think they should get them. "NOT" They belong to the taxpayers and represent an awful lot of money!

So, if you swap eight portable class rooms for eight brick and mortar class rooms, exactly what is gained, besides a second gymnasium?
 
For a whole lot less than the cost of the new this construction, the Moline Grade School could be reopened. The sale of the portable classrooms could off-set the cost of restarting the Moline Grade School.

But guess what "Howards" children would have to bus to Moline, OMG !

Then it would no longer be all about Howard, OMG !

And Howard would not become the center of the universe. OMG ! No please no, don't do that to Howard.

But above all, it would make good financial sense. OMG !

Yes, I mean no increase in property tax or at least a minor increase. OMG !
Oh least we forget all the tax reduction from the States latest ruling that just passed for poor rural school districts Provided the School District passes the reduction on to the taxpayer. And not waste it on this new un-needed construction.

Do you think the tax payers will go along with progressive liberal spending of their money?

I don't! But we only have to wait and see, don't we?

Perhaps those taxpayers in Howard will, like they did with the last Bond Issue. but not the rest of the School District voters. I have faith in the communities and rural communities and the retailers. The retailers and the farmers/ranchers will be hit the hardest by the taxes. In hard times something like this should never pass. Common sense should dictate a strong "NO".
 
Unless you are part of the Obama crowd. liberal progressive spenders of other peoples money!

Remember, Detroit and what Obama with his Community Organization did to the Community in Detroit did?
They made it into a slum. Most likely getting them into debt over their heads that they could not handle.

Those that oppose opposition are usually wrong and have no real answers.

As always just my opinion.




« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 10:19:42 PM by ROSS »

Offline Wilma

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Re: West Elk district holding mail election for $4 million bond
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 10:33:36 PM »
Hang in there, Mom.  When you're right, you're right.  And right you are.  I have a very good source that works out there, too, and everything you have said is true.  If anyone doesn't believe it, they have only to visit the school and see for themselves.  Actually, they have only to drive by it and view the modulars parked on the north side of the building.  Little rooms that have only one outside door, no water, no restrooms without going to the main building, which, by the way is not connected to the little rooms.  Yes, the children have to go outside to another building to get a drink or to go to a restroom.

There is no physical education room available for the children.  They have to be fitted into the high school schedule to use the gymnasium.  Same thing for the lunch room, they have to be fitted into the high school schedule.

Six hundred students?  I don't believe the gymnasium or the auditorium, either, would hold 600 students, not to mention their parents and other interested parties.

Did you notice, West Elk had a larger graduating class this year then either Sedan or Burden and much larger than Elk Valley.  At least one of the grades is so large it has to be divided and use two class rooms.

But if you want to believe what is blared across this Forum by a person who has been proven to either not have the correct facts or who willfully continues to spread the wrong facts, then that is your privilege.

Use your intelligence.  Get your information from the source and by source, I mean the people who are in the building day after day, with the children and who personally know the conditions.  The people who work in those conditions.  They will be glad to answer your questions.

Ross, do you have any official information as to what it would cost to renovate the Moline school building to accommodate the grade school children?  And remember, it has to come up to state regulations.

 

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