Last week’s Wichita school board vote on a new Southeast High School was an example of democracy at the local level. After citizens approved a tax increase to improve Wichita schools in 2008, the state legislature began chipping away at funding for local school districts across Kansas. Wichita’s original plan to renovate Southeast plus build a new school in a faster-growing part of town had to be altered.
The district simply could not afford to renovate, build, and operate two schools. More funding was not going to flow south from Topeka, and local taxpayers probably would not support another property tax increase.
The school district did a great job of studying the issue and gathering as much input as possible from the citizens. They did their homework.
Board members had to be fiscally responsible … something we don’t often see at the state and federal levels. Board members knew their decision would anger many of their fellow citizens. They took a deep breath and did what they thought was best for all Wichitans.
I support their decision as the only sensible call to make.
Our thought for today is from Galileo:
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”