Letter to the Editor

Use your vote; speak for the children

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dear Editor: The Cassville R-IV School District has voted twice in recent years to fund a new pre-school/primary building and both times the proposal was defeated. Those who voted did not defeat it, but those who failed to vote did - their lack of support was in essence a no vote.

With the imminent projected increase in population, the school will no longer be able pass the state's MSIP regulations district-wide because of insufficient space, overcrowded conditions, and teacher/pupil ration deficiency. Had the previous measure passed children would already be enjoying the spacious area in which to play, learn and grow. However, progress is not achieved by looking back and saying, "What if?" It is achieved by looking ahead with visionary eyes and saying, "What next?" The price of construction is growing daily and will continue to grow until we will eventually be forced to pay no matter what the cost.

Our board of education has presently put together an excellent plan for a new building to house the fourth and fifth grade children in order to help alleviate the space problems our district is now facing and will continue to face in the future.

This new building will allow the primary school children to expand into part of the current intermediate building and the middle school children to have access to additional classrooms. It will also allow the elimination of five trailers and the small, disconnected pre-school building children are now using.

Elimination of these facilities, which can be safety hazards during storms, fire, tornado, and threatening intruder conditions, will definitely make for a safer environment for children and teachers. Pending FEMA grant application monies would also be available for a tornado shelter in the basement of the new intermediate building.

In addition to this facility, the board of education is making plans to update and add additional classrooms to the high school building. These additional classrooms will allow room for expansion in the agriculture and industrial arts programs plus give more space for the instrumental and vocal music departments.

There are other options which one might consider in solving the problem, however, most of them are inadequate and more costly than building a structure for the fourth and fifth grade and making much needed additions to the high school.

A majority of the people living in our community grew up here and graduated from Cassville Schools. We were provided the best education with the safest, most feasible learning environment our parents could afford. Now we have the opportunity to pass this same advantage on to our children and grandchildren without any increase in taxes.

We should feel proud that in the past few years our Board of Education foresaw the need for a new high school and we accepted that challenge and it was accomplished. Then looking ahead for the need to expand, property was purchased on which another new facility could be built.

Our board members are constantly funding the maintenance of the present constructions to keep them in excellent condition, including the addition of air-conditioning in all buildings, new windows where needed, and handicapped access to the campus which allows for a more pleasing atmosphere for all those who use the facilities.

Through the years I have witnessed several changes to the Cassville School facilities. Each addition, remodeling project or new structure has been a welcomed relief. It has alleviated over-crowded conditions and made room for vast improvements in our ability to offer our children the finest education possible. This was proven again recently in the positive report from the MSIP committee. Keeping our school updated and in first rate operating order is essential in welcoming new families to our community.

Now it's our turn to speak-up for the children, support the proposed plan prepared by the board of education, and encourage others to share our concern. As a graduate of Cassville Schools, a grandmother of two students, and as a retired employee, I would like to encourage you to get out and vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Allison

Cassville, Missouri