a post earlier today.
While some may find this odd, I hope all will take a moment to consider this. As a Joplin voter, I was very excited to see this April we were going to have a contested school board election. When the state appointment came for former police chief Lane Roberts, while I was very glad to hear that happened for him, I was very disheartened to think he would not have the opportunity to serve our schools as an elected official. I thought it would be exciting to see him and Jeff Koch both be elected to the Joplin school board. Our school board certainly needs some new blood to revitalize things and get the focus back on education.
Ever since our current superintendent has came to run our school district, the schools' academic scores have continually fell year after year. Where our school district was once accredited with distinction, and was one of the most well thought of districts in the entire state; the current administration has not kept up that level of academic excellence and has used many excuses to blame it on something else. And yes while the tornado did present certain challenges to our schools, this trend start in the years prior to the tornado. By the time the temporary buildings were up and running we had better technology and more resources for our students than we had in years; yet academics continued to decline. Once building projects began we took out the largest bond issue our school district has ever seen and probably the largest we ever will. Yet we did not get the facilities we were promised, we ran over budget, and cut a lot of corners when it came to quality just to make sure we had the permanent facilities ready for this academic year all be it behind schedule. Our district has borrowed large sums of money to fund some of the projects that we have fallen short with, yet we still don't have everything that the voters agreed upon when voting for the bond issue.
So what has our school board done to address these subjects? They've put their heads in the sand and continued to borrow more money for frivolous spending on things like new seats for the gymnasium and siding for a press box. This inattention of our board has made me say, I'm ready to see some new board members and that begins Tuesday by voting out Anne Sharp. Anne has sat on the board for 15 years and seen the success of our schools, and this subsequent decline over the last 6 years has happened on her watch and she's done nothing to correct it. Enough is enough, and I say we elect Jeff and Lane. Even if Lane Roberts declines the position, the board will have to vote in a replacement. The board would look very arrogant and foolish to appoint Anne to a vacancy if she lost a reelection as the seated board president. I would encourage Joplin voters to stand up for our students and vote out the individuals who are not being good stewards of our school's budget nor pursuing the academic excellence that our kids need to prepare them for their futures. Let's stand up for our students and begin to put an end to this lack of oversight.