Editorial

Cape school facilities planning needs public input

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Cape Girardeau School District has been holding public forums to gather information from the community regarding the district's facility needs. The district's assessment process has included a review of needs for classrooms and other facilities by administrators, teachers and board members.

Out of the community meetings have come several ideas, ranging from new elementary schools, reconfiguring the schools, eliminating the middle school and adding facilities for high school sports and performing arts.

District officials hope to use this information to put together a facilities plan that would be paid for with a new bond issue. That issue may be presented to voters next April. Officials say the bond issue could be funded without a tax increase.

Such a comprehensive review of how to balance the district's need with what it can afford is crucial. The public forums are an opportunity for parents of students and taxpayers in the district to have their say. Contacting individual board members also is a good way to let them know what some of the most pressing needs are.

This is the time to speak up. Don't wait until a bond issue is put on the ballot to give the district the guidance it is seeking. Officials are providing opportunities for the public to be heard. It's up to the public to get involved.

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