OPINION

LETTER: School board

Mike Carney/Leavenworth

To the editor:

In the Leavenworth Times issue of Sept. 8, Rep. Proctor continued his campaign for his select group of candidates for school boards and city councils. The problem with Mr. Proctor is that he consistently misleads readers as to issues that are definitely erroneous.

Let’s start with his endorsement of Chris Eckley, a Navy veteran who grew up in a small town in the Midwest. I do not know Mr. Eckley but I thank him for his military service. Surely Mr. Proctor should know the name of the small town of someone he is endorsing. He goes on to state that Mr. Eckley is running to keep critical race theory out of our schools. I do not know anyone on our board or any board in the state of Kansas that endorses the idea of CRT or the 1619 Project. And I can assure those interested that it is not being taught in USD 453. 

Mr. Eckley is lobbying members of the board to keep kids in school and out of masks. Never met the man. And he will fight for these principles, really? Has Mr. Proctor or Mr. Eckley questioned the mask mandate at Fort Leavenworth? I think they know the answer. No protests as to the installation’s policies.

After viewing one of many videos starring Mr. Proctor, I genuinely got sick to my stomach as our representative ranted in front of Pioneer Pete, with Mr. Eckley never saying a word. Maybe he said something after I quit watching. Mr. Proctor states “Carney and Darling” both voted for the recommended policy by staff. But in addition to Carney and Darling, four other members of the board voted as well. The only nay vote was from another Proctor protege.

And as I commented that evening, where were are all the parents? Thirteen spoke and it was a draw on where they stood. I did not see Mr. Proctor or any other representatives in the room.

But the classic scare tactic that Mr. Proctor dwells on is a covert plan by school boards to seek property tax increases. Doug can speak for himself but I can be trusted in what I say and do for this community and I seek no power, for their is none.

He touts Mrs. Murphy as one who is not afraid to challenge school administrators on behalf of children and parents. Every board member I have served with since 1999 had no fears from anyone in administration. The board governs the superintendent and he or she is our only employee. Board members have no legal authority to direct any staff member. We are supposed to work as a team in guiding the district on stated goals.

Mr. Proctor and others should do a little more research as to the real reason for an increase in property taxes. It goes back to the Kansas legislators and their unwillingness to fund education as the constitution stated. They introduced the local option budget for school boards to raise funds to offset what the state would not pay. Great idea except districts like Shawnee Mission and Wichita reaped greater benefits based on their property holders. It took a lawsuit to force a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to “adequately fund school districts.”

And finally I must say that I am a 100% disabled veteran presumably from exposure to Agent Orange. My children all graduated from Leavenworth and are very successful thanks to the education they received in this school district. But my handicap has never deterred me from trying to ensure that USD 453 is the best it can be. And I am fairly certain my grandchildren will be successful as well.

– Mike Carney/Leavenworth

Mike Carney serves on the USD 453 Board of Education.