Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bond Should Be Called No Tax Decrease

How many times have we heard that there needs to be budget cuts? Lee's Summit R-7 wants to raise your taxes. If you don't vote yes on this, they might be able to decrease your taxes and then raise them for the purpose of education and not to compete with Johnson County (as one board member said).

Here is what they propose to do with your money.

A remodeling project at Pleasant Lea Middle School to improve spaces for the school's teacher planning center and student guidance area.

Technology improvements to address instructional and operational technology needs, laptop and desktop replacement, network infrastructure, security and storage, and emerging technology initiatives in the areas of student instruction.

Resurfacing of all three R-7 middleschool tracks to serve physical-education classes, athletic teams and community walkers and runners.

Construction of two unlighted, multi-use women's softball fields at Lee's Summit North High School that would serve physical-education classes and athletic teams, eliminating team travel to Legacy Park for practices and home games.

A Lee's Summit High School multi-use physical-education/activity/athletic project that would remodel the school's existing spaces for wrestling, athletic training, mechanical and robotics team activities while constructing an approximately 7,700-square-foot new building. The new building would serve men's and women's programs and include restrooms, a weight training/strength-conditioning area, locker rooms, offices and storage areas.

Remodeling of the area currently used by Lee's Summit High School wrestlers to create a district-wide robotics center. This project would be made possible by the addition planned for the LSHS physical-education/activity/athletic facility listed above. The high schools' robotics teams would use the remodeled space, allowing them to share materials, tools, and shop facilities.

Renovation of existing tennis courts at all three high schools that would upgrade court surfaces and serve physical-education classes, athletic teams and community members.

Replacement of the existing grass turf at all three high schools' stadiums with multi-use, all-weather artificial turf to serve physical-education classes, high-school and middle-school football and soccer teams and high school marching bands, drumlines, cheerleaders, flag and dance teams. Community organizations would also have the opportunity to use the artificial turf fields. The project would eliminate the need for rescheduling and relocation of R-7 stadium events due to weather-related challenges while providing safe and dry fields for physical-education and extra-curricular activities. It would also offer a partial operation and maintenance cost savings payback over the life of the turf while bringing the district's stadiums at the majority of metro-area high schools.

This will all come at a cost of $16 million.

Lee's Summit has already spent $12 million on an aquatic center that is not used for recreational therapy as called for by IDEA. It is for the district's 300 swimmers.

We spent $8.6 million on a state of the art administration building. It has everything that any major corporation would want to look successful.

We bought laptops for all of the school board members. We bought Blackberrys for school personnel.

Lee's Summit has bragged about the fact that they spend the least per student of any district in the area.

And I thought that our taxes were going for education. Silly me!!

Lee's Summit R-7 School Board Elections

Only vote for one person in the school board election. I am not voting for any of the people that are on the ballot. I am going to write in my candidate. I hope that everyone else will do the same.

Here are the candidates. I can only assume that it will be business as usual and our children will be at the bottom of their priority list.

Gene Brixey, currently president of the Lee’s Summit Board of Education and member of the Board since 2004. Seems to me that things haven’t improved on his watch and its time for a change. 

The debates for the candidates last year were not advertised and the only people that showed up were pro school district.  The press release was sent out by the district, but not in time for the local papers to advertise it.
Annette Braam, served on the Board from 2002 to 2005.

Dr. Jimmie Colbert, retired teacher, taught for 40 years in California, St. Louis and Kansas City, “I want to be an advocate for teachers,”

Who will advocate for our children?
Sherri R. Tucker

1200 SE London Way

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081


Arne Duncan

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to you for advice. My child, Jacob Tucker, attended Lee’s Summit High School in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. We are in the state of Missouri. He was forced to drop out of school because he was receiving no services and was no longer progressing academically. He required medication to attend school because of the anxiety that attending caused him. He does not require this medication for any other part of his life. Once he was removed from the situation the medication was no longer needed.

The local school district, as well as the state education department, is unresponsive to our needs, and refuses to obey the regulations set down in IDEA. As result, my child, as well as others, are suffering and not receiving FAPE. Child complaints are not sufficiently researched and are almost always found in the favor of the districts. Even when the parent has documentation that the district is out of compliance the State finds in the district’s favor. Due process is out of the question as most parents cannot afford it and rarely prevail. The State and the district are co dysfunctional. Even the Special Education Advisory Panel is not set up in such a manner that it would be parent friendly.

My son has a diagnosis of Kanner’s Syndrome/Early Infantile Autism, Dysgraphia, Inattentive and Impulsive ADHD, and Anxiety Disorder. I requested, and received, an IEE but the district did not discuss it at the follow up meeting and simply stated, “We have all read the IEE.” That was the extent that it was considered.

My son has had an educational diagnosis of Autism since 1998. He had never received any services related to his autism. He has a nonverbal IQ of 123 and the interpersonal skills of a one year old. He received no OT services for his dysgraphia and was in regular education classes all day. He had an IEP, but it did not address his issues and the State and the district refused to allow his evaluation scores to be put in his present level of performance.

They also refused to allow the parent full participation in the IEP meeting. When we complained to the State we were told that parents do not have a right to be an equal partner on the IEP team. I have documentation for all of the claims that I am making and can provide them to you at any time.

I filed an OCR complaint. They found that my son’s IEP was not being implemented, but that it did not materially affect his education.

I would appreciate your guidance in helping me to explain the Federal regulations to the school district in such a way that they will comply with current special education law.


Sherri R. Tucker