Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools

SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools

Lee's Summit Has Dropped From 27th to 38th In Two Years

Missouri School District Rankings

Rank (of 483) District # Students # Ranked Elementary Schools # Ranked Middle Schools # Ranked High Schools Rank score*

31 Parkway C-2 17467 18 5 5 0.821

32 Maryville R-II 1431 0 1 1 0.818

33 Ste. Genevieve County R-II 2023 2 1 1 0.815

34 Fairfax R-III 176 1 0 1 0.815

35 Hardin-Central C-2 220 1 0 1 0.812

36 Liberty 53 10263 9 0 1 0.811

37 Mound City R-II 303 0 0 1 0.811

38 Lee's Summit R-VII 17326 17 3 2 0.809

39 Bakersfield R-IV 382 1 0 0 0.807

40 Cabool R-IV 809 0 1 1 0.804

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Lee's Summit R-7 District Got $4 Million more in taxes Last Year, So Where’s the Shortfall?


The Lee's Summit R-7 District Got $4 Million more in taxes Last Year, So Where’s the Shortfall?

January 29, 2011

Despite the R-7 district's claim that tax revenue is shrinking, according to the Jackson County Collection Department they received $2 million more from property taxes this last year. According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the District did receive a shortfall in 2010 state taxes of about 6 million dollars, but the R-7 District received an additional 8 million more dollars from the federal government through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, yielding a net gain in tax dollars in 2010 of 4 million. The total tax revenue that went to the R-7 District in 2010 amounts to $169,051,445.80.

But the district claims:

"The financial crisis is compounded by growing enrollments and rising costs in areas such as fuel, utilities and benefits, including state-mandated retirement contributions." R-7 Website.

In the Flyer the District sent home with the kids it looks like the enrollment increased by 500 this last, but if you look at the fine print on their website you find that this is the additional enrollment since 2007. It turns out that the rapidly growing enrollment amounts to 250 students this last year. (Page 4, in the question and answer section of the R-7 website.) There are 18 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 High Schools. That means there has been an increase of about 1 1/2 student per grade.

I checked the inflation rate and according to the federal government it was at 1.5% in December, and fuel prices, while high, have remained consistently between $2.50-2.75 a gallon for the last two years or so. And the District really isn’t talking about how much they are having to pay in “mandated retirement” (according to the Public School Retirement System, the increase is only ½ a percent.)

But, the District assures us that it’s only an extra $336 per home assessed at $200,000, not taking into account that the commercial property, which is valued almost twice as high as residential property, is going to take an enormous hit during one of the worst economic downturns in history. Not only will this levy cause rent to go up and drive business elsewhere, it will mean higher food costs at restaurants- already hurting, and grocery stores as well as higher costs for those ballet and karate lessons.

With enrollment and inflation only growing at 1% and the 4 million additional tax dollars, I fail to see how the District can justify this levy or its devastating effects on the community.

Linda Koch Marshall,

Lee’s Summit

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Five file for three seats on Lee's Summit R-7 Board of Education

Five candidates have filed for three positions on the Lee's Summit R-7 School District Board of Education. Filing closed for R-7 Board of Education candidates on Jan. 18.

Candidates (listed in filing order) are Jack Wiley, Chris Storms, Terri Harmon, Jon Plaas and Mike Smith. Mr. Wiley is currently Board of Education vice president and has served on the Board since 2005. Mr. Plaas is currently a member of the Board of Education and has served on the Board since 2002.

The annual municipal and school election will be held on April 5. Board of Education members serve three-year terms.

Jack Wiley: Has been on the school board since 2005, is currently vice president of the school board, said that he would hold up our facilities to any one those in Johnson County, stated that he and his wife had babysat children with special needs so he understands what parents of children with special needs go through, said that the school’s board job is not to advocate for a single group, endorses the tax levy, endorsed bond to spend multimillions on astro turf, swimming pool, etc., Technical Writer/Trainer at GE Oil & Gas.

Chris Storms: Endorses the tax levy, member of the Citizens Advisory Panel, member of several committees that all of the other board members and administrators belong to.

Terri Harmon: Endorse the tax levy, member of several committees that all of the other board members and administrators belong to, co-chairperson of the building our future committee, member Lee’s Summit Citizens Advisory Panel, Chief Operation Officer/Technical Translator at iBossWell, Inc

Mike Smith: Twin Lakes Insurance Agency.

Jon Plaas: Owner, PLAAS Associates Inc, voted against tax levy, "I believe special-interest-group advocacy needs to be done from the podium in front of the board and not from a board seat," he said.

School board wants to up tax levy

School board wants to up tax levy

Community Members Invited To Serve On Lee's Summit R-7 School District Comprehensive School Improvement Team

Community members invited to serve on Lee's Summit R-7 School District Comprehensive School Improvement Team

The Lee's Summit R-7 School District is seeking parents, community members and district employees willing to help design a new Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for 2011-2016.

The team, consisting of approximately 40 members, will meet during March and April, to develop a student-focused strategic plan for the school district.

The R-7 School District has been a leader in visionary, strategic planning for many years with an emphasis on broad-based involvement by staff, parents and citizens. In fact, the first R-7 School District five-year plan was created in 1990 with the process continuing successfully for the past 20 years.

In preparation for the 2011-2016 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, volunteers are needed to serve on the team. The group will meet from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28, March 1, April 25 and April 26 at the Stansberry Leadership Center. An additional meeting could also be held during March and April.

To apply for membership on this team, go to http://tiny.cc/r8c0b. You may also contact the R-7 Office of Instruction and Leadership at 986-1027 for additional information. Deadline to apply for membership is Feb. 11.

(Posted-January 27, 2011)