The current school bond is the most fiscally responsible for this time. As the bond plans were discussed, affordability for taxpayers was a concern. On factor considered was the amount the state of Kansas pays in bond and interest aid to Pittsburg school district. The state aid on the existing debt is 45%. The state aid on the proposed bond is at 28%. With the state's financial situation, the rate is expected to continue to decrease and could possibly become non-existent with future legislative sessions - including the one that starts this week.

There is concern that the length of the payback for the bonds is 25 years. A shorter term to repay the debt would result in higher property taxes. The Board of Education considered this factor in determining the length of the bond, similar to individuals considering the length of a home mortgage or business loan. However, the District has demonstrated fiscal responsibility in refinancing bonds whenever the market is favorable.

The needs of the district were reviewed by the community over a two year period. A failed bond election will not eliminate the needs for smaller class size, safe space in times of weather, or adequate heating and air quality for students and staff. A failed bond issue will not reduce the overall costs. A delay or smaller piecemeal projects will result in higher constructions costs and less favorable market to sell bonds. A failed bond WILL result in higher taxpayer costs. Today, the average home-owner will pay 39 cents a day, what will it be tomorrow if this fails.

Vote yes on your ballot.

 

Dawn McNay

Pittsburg, KS 66762

 

Invest in Yes!

Dear Mr. Editor and My Fellow Community Members,

I have three children of my own, and I’m also a teacher. Children are obviously the inspiration of my life work, both as a parent and as a teacher. They are our future! They will soon be the leaders of our little community of Pittsburg, our country, and perhaps our world!

That is why I’m deeply saddened. I’m saddened as I drive around town and see all of the “Vote No: Save Our Middle School” signs. Since when has the nostalgia of an old, broken down building taken precedence over our own children? Since when has the box become more valuable than the “contents” of the box? Surely there has been some mistake or misconception?

The old section of our “middle school” that these naysayers are wanting to “save” is in shambles and is basically unusable. The pool in the basement is seeping tepid ground water and hasn’t been used in years. The mold is so thick that those students with asthma struggle on a daily basis. The old pillars in the front of the building that used to be the ventilation system is now a place that bats enter and have to be caught with a net and released because of the potential rabies threat that they carry in with them. It is a health and safety threat to our students…To my kids. To your kids. To your grandkids.

When you vote “yes” to the bond issue, you are voting for kids, not for buildings. You are voting “yes” not only for the 3,104 kids that are currently enrolled in USD 250, but for the future kids that will be coming though our school system in the next 50 years!

Wouldn’t you be willing to invest in our kids? Wouldn’t you be willing to invest in our future? Saving a “building” – a pile of old, run-down bricks and mortar should in no way take precedence over our children!

I will invest in “yes” because Noah, Grace, and Luke are worth investing in!

I will invest in “yes” because every single one of the students in my classroom is worth investing in!

I will invest in “yes” because the 3,104 students currently enrolled in USD 250 are worth investing in!

I will invest in “yes” for the future generations of Pittsburg kids!

As you mark your ballot, please imagine each child’s face, because you are playing a big part in each one of their futures with your vote. This vote is not about a building. This vote is about what is best for our KIDS!

A concerned citizen,

Mrs. Whitney Rogers

Pittsburg