School goals

In laying out his goals for the Cape Girardeau School District, new superintendent Dr. David Scala said the district's comprehensive educational plan will be assessed over the next six months.

Officials say that long-range plan may include the addition of an auditorium, football stadium and classrooms at Central High School along with a new grade school.

The auditorium and football stadium were not included when the new high school opened in 2002 because the district could not afford them. The bond issue that paid for the new school did not require a tax increase.

The school's plays and concerts currently are performed at the old Central High School building, now occupied by Central Junior High School. The Tigers play their home football games at Southeast Missouri State University's Houck Stadium but are limited to playing Thursday-night games if the university has a Saturday home game.

School officials provided no time frame for putting a bond issue before voters, but assistant superintendent Rob Huff says the district may need to consider one by 2008.

School officials don't think the bond issue would increase the school district's levy of $4.16 per $100 assessed valuation because the district's debt-service fund, financed by a 56-cent levy, is growing. Its balance is projected to be $1.5 million by next July.

Central High School's fat-free $20 million high school was built with the understanding that it would grow. Any school district that doesn't think about long-range plans and improving the quality of the education it offers is floundering.

Whether this is the best plan is still to be determined, but now is the time for community input into the planning process.