In Defense of the St. Joseph, Missouri, School Tax Levy 2017
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Gary L. Clark is an author. After a thirty year career he retired to write a novel. He then joined a counselor-in-training program at the local community mental health center and worked three years as a substance abuse counselor. He retired again and has written two more novels. He recently completed the annotation of a self-help book on faith-based self-help. Two published novels (available on Amazon.com) address social justice. Mr. Clark is the Editor of thefiresidepost.com. He lives in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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In Defense of the St. Joseph, Missouri, School Tax Levy 2017

Larry Koch is a member of the St. Joseph, Missouri, School District Board of Directors.  There is a levy on the ballot and the following was a facebook post by Mr. Koch.  I thought it was well thought out and well written. There are two issues: 1) Does the school district need more money? and 2) should there be a sunset clause on the levy?

Larry Koch’s thoughts as posted on facebook: (Copied and pasted without Mr. Koch’s permission).

I supported the sunset clause years ago but the notion that it would make people more accountable turned out to be folly. I can no longer support one on an operational levy for three reasons:
1) It didn’t make the board or the administration any more accountable. The way to hold board members accountable is at the poles when they run for re-election. Now that terms are only 3 years there will be an election every year for 2 members and 3 members every third year.

2) Reducing funding does absolutely nothing to punish a superintendent, a board or board member. All it does is strip resources from the people who need them most.
3) It makes it very difficult to do planning past the year when the sunset kicks in. If you were a quality teacher and saw a great job opening in our district but found out there might be a significant cut in funding next year, I suspect you would, like me, have second thoughts about applying.

I sincerely believe that in order for us move our schools forward and provide the education that our young people deserve we MUST hire the very best superintendent that we can afford. That can happen only if that person knows they have the support of the community and the funding to move forward.

The more I write the angrier I get at how little progress our schools have made over the past 20+ years. Our kids have suffered, our businesses have suffered and our parents have suffered. Think about this, our schools are raising the next generation of parents. I don’t want to be known as the generation that failed them because of a sunset clause.

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