To the parents who feel like they are banging their heads against a brick wall trying to communicate with the USD 231 board of education – you’re not alone.

We sent two requests for information last week:

One requested the plan for educating students who are quarantined.

We thought the policy might be posted online. Seems reasonable. If your child is not in school due to school policy, how do they learn?

Afterall, taxpayers are paying for the students to be educated.

Now, we’re not a high dollar attorney, but we figure if the state mandates we pay taxes for an education, the district is in some type of “breach of contract” not to provide it.

Whether you are pro mask, or anti-mask, you’re still paying taxes to educate the students.

The key point is: EDUCATION. There should be a plan. The district has had 18 months to come up with one; you’d think it would be readily available. Apparently not.

We’re hoping parents have been provided this information. If anyone has a copy of the district’s plan, let us know.

The other request was a headcount of the number of students in each building. Again, not rocket science.

Specifically we asked, “Can you point me to the building needs assessment results that the district is  legally required for each attendance center as part of the budget process.”

The request centered on Kansas statute 72-8204c.”Budget and summary of proposed budget; notice of availability; needs assessment of attendance centers. (a) Each year the board of education of a school district shall conduct an assessment of the educational needs of each attendance center in the district. Information obtained from such needs-assessment shall be used by the board when preparing the budget of the school district.”

Not available in GE district.

We did get a trite reply  from the district’s attorney saying he had already been asked this question in another KORA request, and it was not necessary for the board to supply a document.  “You may make a formal KORA request if you like, but the answer will be the same,” he wrote.

There you go – just pay your taxes and shut up.

None of the requested information is secret, so we’re not sure why the district pays an attorney to answer a KORA requests. Attorney’s don’t come cheap, and we’re already paying for a freedom of information officer.

Other local taxing entities are more than helpful, or they just post the information online.

District taxpayers deserve better.

Patrons need a board of education and administration that is less about control and more about education.

 

Received after the deadline, a response on how quarantined students are educated was sent by the district: “ur policy for educating students who miss school due to absences has been consistent and implemented for years. Essentially, teachers and building administrators work with students and families individually to ensure their needs are met. Whether students are absent due to illness, vacations, or other activities, the process for them obtaining missed instruction and school work can be found in each of our student handbooks. The handbooks are located on each school’s website. These same processes would apply to a student who has missed school due to a COVID-19 exclusion see district website for USD 231 Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services that was submitted to the state. Regarding student absences, we encourage you to review Board policies JBD, JF, and JGCC.”