School plans

4/4/2013

Voters call on incumbents to continue vital mission.

Voters call on incumbents to continue vital mission.

Familiar faces will be returning to a pair of boards that oversee education in the community.

Incumbents captured the three open seats in both races for the Garden City USD 457 Board of Education and Garden City Community College Board of Trustees.

Voters gave the nod to Lara Bors, Jean Clifford and Gloria Hopkins for the USD 457 school board. William Clifford, Merilyn Douglass and Ron Schwartz will begin new terms on GCCC's board.

Kudos to all candidates, win or lose, who stepped up to serve their community. The incumbents who opted to run again also deserve praise for their desire to continue on their respective boards — especially when they know holding public office is a time-consuming commitment that may allow them to be difference-makers, but also can be thankless work.

Moving forward, they can expect budget issues — primarily the uncertainty of state funding to public schools — to dominate the educational landscape for some time.

Ongoing debate over dollars needed to fund public schools has many Kansans complaining that throwing more money at classrooms wouldn't improve the educational process — a disturbing claim considering many of those who question the process haven't stepped foot in a public school for years.

Along with helping students develop a strong foundation in reading, writing, science and math, educators also are charged with bringing students up to speed on a myriad of new technologies and skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

It's never easy. Garden City USD 457, for example, faces unique challenges that come with educating a diverse student population. GCCC must continue to evolve in meeting the needs of a community working toward economic growth.

On both fronts, local taxpayers want to know their investment is paying off in graduates who are prepared for higher education or the workforce. The six local citizens returning to their respective boards know the importance of striking a balance between spending taxpayer dollars with care and maintaining quality in education.

They won't need time getting up to speed, at least, on that important quest at a critical time for local educational institutions.

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