Prop S Deep Dive: Safety & Security

July 17, 2023, Kearney, Mo.: KSD’s Board of Education recently placed Proposition S, a proposed 45-cent property tax increase, on the Aug. 8, 2023, ballot in order to help achieve the highest priorities that were identified by our constituents during the strategic planning process:

  • Increase safety and security
  • Prioritize all employees by increasing compensation and benefits

Focus: Safety & Security

Safety and security are a source of genuine concern for our students, parents/guardians, staff and community members. Alarming incidents seem to happen on an almost weekly basis around the country. Thankfully, we’ve avoided any serious incidents in KSD. But the message received during the strategic planning process was loud and clear: parents/guardians, staff, and students identified safety and security as among our most important priorities.

We’ve spent time over the last year taking a close look at our safety and security policies, procedures and measures. Steps have been taken to make improvements within our current resources, including updates to our entry procedures and the relaunch of our collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. Our team engaged in this work concluded that adding safety personnel would be a priority moving forward.

We currently have one School Resource Officer (SRO). This person has operational authority over nine campuses and the central office. Response time during an incident could be as much as 10 minutes. The table below compares KSD’s safety and security staffing to neighboring school districts.

School DistrictEnrollmentNumber of SchoolsNumber of SRO/SSO OfficersNumber of Unarmed SecurityRatio of Safety Personnel to Students
Excelsior Springs2.49674N/A1 staff : 624 students
Kearney3,48781N/A1 staff : 3487 students
Platte County4,2148331 staff : 702  students
Liberty12,447201291 staff : 593 students
Smithville2,55362N/A1 staff : 1277 students

If Prop S is approved, a portion of the levy increase will be used to add up to three additional safety and security team members, which would reduce response time by about 75 percent. Each of those staff members would be assigned to specific schools. These staff members will also be able to coordinate in response to a potential major incident. It is anticipated that it will cost approximately $200,000 annually to retain three additional safety and security team members.

We will share additional details next week about why we want to prioritize all employees by increasing compensation and benefits, and how – if voters approve it – Prop S will help us achieve that goal.

Prop S Informational Open House

You are invited to an informational open house about Prop S from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 27 at our central office, which is located at 425 W. Washington St. This event will be an opportunity for members of the public to have one-on-one conversations with KSD leaders about the Prop S ballot initiative.

You may also visit www.ksdr1.net/PropS to learn more about Proposition S.

Paid for by Kearney School District, Superintendent Emily Miller, 425 W. Washington St., Kearney, MO 64060.