Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: There's a substantial levy increase, but levy is still low overall

Friday, March 28, 2014

April 8 is an important date not just for the future of Marshall Schools, but the city itself. I haven't lived in Marshall full-time for many years, but visit often and my family still owns property there. I owe so much of whatever success I've enjoyed to Marshall -- the schools, teachers, community members and general atmosphere of striving to be the best that many of us remember growing up.

I, too, have nostalgic memories of school days, having attended only two buildings in my 13 years: Southeast and what is now Bueker Middle School. My dad went to Eastwood. At a reunion two years ago, some of us had a chance to go through the old high school on Odell, and found it to be well-maintained and functional, though obviously in need of some modernization. But the time has come to make an investment in our childrens' future with the long-delayed construction of a new elementary school campus.

In the Springfield area, I have watched virtually EVERY neighboring district build new high schools in the last 15 years. In Springfield itself, two of the five public high schools were gutted and virtually re-built, via several successful bond issues. Those two schools, which were once struggling, are now thriving.

Yes, this question does call for a substantial levy increase. But Marshall's levy of $3.12 is very low. Sedalia's is $3.87. Slater's is $4.43. Lexington is $5.28, just to name a few neighboring districts. If this increase is approved, the new levy will bring us to $4.62.

We do have a dog in the fight, maintaining a home in the district, so our family will be subject to this increase too, but after so many false starts and failed attempts, I believe we are past time of putting band-aids on obsolete buildings. Good schools and modern facilities are important considerations when families with school-age children decide where to live. Change is sometimes hard, but I respectfully ask, as a proud graduate of Marshall Public Schools, that voters consider the community's future and vote yes on the school levy issue April 8.

-- Art Hains, Springfield
MHS '73 and Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network host