By Kelly Douglas, Liberal
After reading your opinion posting entitled “Teachers are the Key, Not New Buildings,” I have to respectfully disagree with the writer’s viewpoint.
While I do whole-heartedly agree that teachers are at the forefront of successful education, Liberal needs financial help.
I am a new Liberal teacher, and like most teachers here, we are transplants from all over the country. We have some phenomenal teachers here in Liberal, and we also have teachers needing the proper training to be the leaders we need them to be in the classroom.
Many of our teachers are “not” veteran teachers like myself and your writer who have years of experience to know what successful strategies are in the classroom. We need to offer these teachers training to be the best they can be, and we cannot do that without money.
Secondly, Liberal does not currently offer a full-day kindergarten. I think we can all agree what a disservice this is to our local kindgartners.
Students do not begin an enriched education until first grade here, which research shows, is not the most conducive to a child’s development.
With passing the bond, our future kindergartners will be able to experience what other kindergartners across the nation have had the chance to experience in the classroom. We need new buildings with more kindergarten classrooms in them to do this.
Lastly, I think voters need to understand that our property taxes “will” increase no matter if we vote “yes” for the bond proposal or not. With the passing of the bond, the state of Kansas is willing to pay almost half the cost of these upgrades. That is an opportunity we cannot afford to pass up.
The bond will not only build buildings, but provide safety upgrades for schools that our children deserve, allow for less transition between grade levels, and put money back into the classroom.
If voters vote no, property taxes will go up anyway, and we will have to increase the mill levy just to maintain what we have in place now. More portables will go up and buildings will continue to deteriorate.
Why would anyone pass up free money that benefits our students? Not me. I’ll see you at the polls.