This is a great time to be a Bulldog! Proposition B was approved on April 5, 2022, with nearly 64 percent of our residents voting yes.
On behalf of every member of Team KSD, we want to express our gratitude to our community for supporting Prop B. The last couple of years have been incredibly challenging. Together, we have stepped up and overcome every obstacle, no matter what. The result of this bond measure is a brighter future for our entire community! Thank you for choosing to make that investment in our students and schools!
We're going to be able to move forward with some exciting projects that will benefit our students, families and community. We're looking forward to all the things we're going to accomplish over the next several years thanks to this bond. Please visit this page for regular updates as we fulfill our promises to voters.
In January 2023, the Kearney School District Board of Education decided to pause the construction of the fifth elementary school in order to discuss whether that project is the best use of public resources.
Unfortunately, KSD needs to rethink plans for a new elementary school due to some serious challenges. Supply chain shortages persist, inflation is soaring, and a recession looms. Public school districts across the state have yet to see enrollment recover to pre-pandemic levels. Even well-respected economic experts failed to predict these conditions and their impact on businesses, school districts and households alike.
The fifth elementary school project is still in the planning stages. Construction has not started nor has the land been purchased for this project.
The alternatives to a fifth elementary school might include renovations and additions to KSD’s existing elementary schools, which could potentially save millions of dollars in operational expenses that would have otherwise been needed for additional personnel, materials and supplies, and utility costs.
Depending on the Board’s priorities, KSD will need to start a discussion about increasing the district’s operating fund levy. This may include the objectives in KSD’s new strategic plan, which was built by parents/guardians, students, staff and neighbors. Their top priorities included increased safety and security, support for expanded learning opportunities for students, and addressing competitive salaries for staff, all of which will also require additional funding.
Phones will be ringing across the Kearney School District as a comprehensive survey of patron opinions begins.
A telephone survey of 300 households will provide insight into what residents think about the district’s strengths, challenges, and long-term facility needs.
“This survey will give us an outstanding opportunity to hear opinions about our performance from a cross-section of our patrons, and what our priorities should be for the future,” Superintendent Emily Miller said. “We’ll hear from residents who live all across the district, people of all different ages, and everyone from newcomers to long-term residents.”
The short phone survey was designed by ExcellenceK12, a Kansas City-based market research firm that has worked with school districts across the Midwest. The calling will be done by Kansas City-based Market Research Associates, a firm that uses only locally based, professional researchers.
Participants will be selected totally at random, and all responses will be kept completely confidential. The input will be analyzed by district leaders and shared with the public this spring.
In general, calls will be placed between 7 and 9 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The caller ID may show “Market Research Associates” or it may simply show an 816 or 913 area code because the company uses calling facilities in both Missouri and Kansas.
The survey process will take about two weeks to complete, and we are asking patrons to please respond if you get the call.
Please follow the link below if you would like to participate in an online version of the survey:
BUILDING A FUTURE FOR OUR BULLDOGS
The Kearney School District Board of Education asked our residents to vote on a $44 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue on April 5 to fund a new long-range facilities master plan for the district. The plan calls for adding a fifth elementary school to address growth in student enrollment; adding classrooms for our Early Education Center; updating school facilities to meet current and future teaching and learning needs for students; and providing safety and facility improvements across the district. Approval of the bond issue will not increase the district's property tax rate.
FACILITIES PLANNING PROCESS
KSD leaders worked with parents and staff for about a year as part of the Long-Range Facilities Planning committee to develop a new districtwide facilities plan to ensure that schools are well maintained and continue to meet the educational needs of their students. Enrollment trends indicate the district may need additional capacity for students in pre-K through fifth grade. In addition, the committee identified a need for improvements across the district to facilitate 21st-Century teaching and learning for all students.
A COMMUNITY INVESTMENT IN OUR SCHOOLS
Every few years, KSD updates its districtwide facilities master plan in order to protect our community’s investment in our schools. Updated plans address building needs for learning purposes and emphasize keeping the district's aging facilities maintained and in good repair. The last facilities master plan was supported by our residents with a $27 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue that was approved by voters in April 2017 to fund updates and improvements included in the plan. Since then, we have maintained the debt service levy (the portion of its tax rate that can only be used for paying off bond issue debt) unchanged at $1.19 per $100 of assessed value. The current debt service levy rate will be extended since Prop B was approved by KSD residents on April 5, 2022.
PROP B - KEARNEY SCHOOLS BOND SCOPE OF WORK
Major projects to be funded with the Prop B $44 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond
21st Century Teaching & Learning
PROP B - BY THE NUMBERS
37% = Projected enrollment increase in KSD by 2032 based on planned housing developments
25% = Enrollment increase at Early Education Center since 2018, prompting the Forest Friends program to relocate to Kearney Elementary
8% = Average academic achievement boost in science for elementary students who participated in Project Based Learning, according to a national study (Assessing the Effect of ML-PBL on Science Learning, Michigan State University & the University of Michigan)
More Than 30 Years = Age of the seats in the KHS theater, which has never had a major upgrade since it was built
PROP B - RESOURCES
Paid for by Kearney School District, Superintendent Todd White, 150 W. Hwy 92, Kearney, MO 64060.