School board makes right decision on CCS preschool
School board members made the right decision Tuesday night to forgo pursuing a preschool at Chase County Schools targeted to four-year-olds.
I make that statement with a strong belief that government entities, like a public school, should not compete with private business. With a possibility of serving more than 30 four-year-olds (the number the local census identified), taking away preschoolers from the two preschools currently operating in Imperial was a given.
One board member, Sheila Stromberger, talked to directors/teachers at both private preschools. Both told her there would be staff reductions in their preschools if CCS added one.
Imagine how that former preschool employee—no longer with a job at Rainbow Promise or Little Longhorns Preschool—would feel while writing out their property tax check, much of which goes to support Chase County Schools.
I’m not sure that a case has been made that our current two preschools are not serving the needs of our youngsters. Several board members, who sent their children to the two preschools in town, said they were doing a great job. No real data has been shown that a preschool at CCS would be a bigger plus than what is currently available.
An informative presentation by the superintendent gave a scenario on how the CCS preschool could operate with minimal effect on taxpayers, especially during the first three years when grant funds could be used.
But, grants have a funny way of enticing us into programs, though, that many times we don’t really need. Promoters like to say that if we don’t take the money, someone else will. Unfortunately, that just feeds into the belief that the money is free. It’s not—it often comes from taxes. Sometimes, the costs “down the road” aren’t fully considered.
Public input likely played a key role in the board of education’s decision Tuesday night not to take a vote on adding a preschool as part of its operation. That was good to see, and the board should be commended for listening.
And, getting information out to taxpayers about adding new programs that they will pay for should be at the top of the list when it comes to good communication with school district patrons.