To the editor:
Here goes USD 453 board member Doug Darling again (May 29). He says there “is no legal requirement for the district to present its bond in the worst possible light.” He is admitting that telling voters the facts on dollar costs, as the Gillett letter did, puts the bond in a really bad light.
Correct, there is no imperative of law to state the true cost of the bond, but there is a moral imperative to do so. Darling needs a law to cause him to disclose the amount of the bond. He suggests that in order to require complete disclosure of the full cost of public bonds that Gillett “petition the Kansas Legislature to change the law.” Been there, done that. Yours truly wrote a legislative initiative, worked it through our legislative research department, and that bill was carried by former Rep. John Bradford. The bill died in the education committee. Let this be a reminder to voters that the Kansas education union is very strong, especially in funding candidates.
Darling erred in stating that “… school security is part of this bond issue as Mrs. Gillett requested.” No, she did not request that. Instead she suggested that some of the $6.9 million already in our pot of carryover cash reserves could be used for security instead of continuing a tax on our property.
Darling says the factual truth is a negative. Up until now, Gillett has not advised anyone to vote for or against the bond. Darling thinks disclosing these facts could cause the bond issue to fail. Gillett agrees. Vote no.
The Kansas Policy Institute’s non-partisan evaluation for the last full academic year shows that our last two bond issues do not seem to have improved education results to 50 percent proficiency. For instance, of 1,384 Leavenworth 10th grade students, the percent considered college/career ready in English language arts is 30.4 percent and in math 24.1 percent. Education achievement, not buildings, should be the primary goal of elected school board members.