To the editor:

Did you know Basehor-Linwood and Lansing schools have some of the highest school debt per pupil in the state? They are ranked seventh and eighth in the state of 309 districts. That means they have more debt per pupil than 97% of the school districts in Kansas – at $38,543 and $34,990 per pupil. But the fact is that the two districts’ continuous building and extremely high debt per pupil have not improved learning.

Look at the academic achievement scores. The Kansas Policy Institute gives Basehor-Linwood High School a grade of C for high school reading and a grade of D for high school at-risk, low-income math (C for all others in math).

Lansing fares even worse with high school reading for at-risk students getting a D (all others C) and high school math for at-risk an F (all others C).

Are those scores acceptable for our kids? At this price?

Many residents in Lansing and rural southern Leavenworth County have expressed that living here has become unaffordable due to outrageous property tax valuation increases of 20% or more this year alone, and with the constant passage of more and more school bonds. Tonganoxie recently passed another bond, and their taxes will be going up soon.

How are senior citizens or average families able to afford to stay in their homes with continuously rising property taxes?

Government-run schools that underperform and overspend should have competition to force cost controls and improve outcomes.

The problem with so called democratic socialism is that it gobbles up as much tax money as it can take from “we the people” without much concern for the total costs or the results, and Lansing and Basehor-Linwood schools are doing just that.

School choice is the obvious answer, and there are currently a few bills in the Kansas Legislature that propose this.

I urge you to contact your state legislators and ask them to support school choice.

What are we really getting for this excessive school debt and why doesn’t our state allow school choice?