Isn’t the BOE’s purpose to provide the best education for all students?

Dear Editor,

Axtell and Wetmore Schools have benefited greatly since the formation of USD 113. I believe that the 3 Sabetha schools have too. It was advantageous for all to consolidate. Studies were done that show that. The difference is that both 1A schools in our district have been sacrificing more and more every year since the viability document was enforced. Can the Sabetha schools say the same? I know the numbers look good for Sabetha when all 3 schools are viewed as one, K-12. A question arises what those 3 school’s viability look like if we separate each building out. That seems like an important piece of information, especially if Sabetha is looking at making some large financial purchases and campus improvements.

The Axtell and Wetmore Schools ask the least amount possible from USD 113. We just want to do our best to educate our students and maintain healthy communities. There are 5 pillars a community needs to maintain to have a thriving, successful town. A school is the most important one. When one of those pillars fall, they all begin to crumble.

If Axtell needs track improvements, our kids hold car washes for a month and local businesses and community members donate matching funds. When Axtell needs football field improvements (such as the new updated bleachers, crows nest and the video score board), community organizations and the City of Axtell do what needs to be done to raise the funds needed. A sprinkler system in our football field was all paid for with donations. When Axtell’s grocery store closed, the community stepped up again getting investors and donations to accomplish starting a new store from the ground up. When our school playground needed updating we accomplished that through years of fundraising and applying for available grants and some leftover bond monies. When our gym needed a new sound system the booster club paid for it. A new greenhouse was paid for with donations, grants and fundraisers and booster club. We do the best we can to survive and ask the least amount from the district. The Eagle Booster Club donates an average of $43,000 every year to reduce our requests from the capital outlay fund as well as helping towards Axtell’s general fund expenses.

When Sabetha needs a new track, are endless fundraisers done, or do they just ask the board who appears to not be worried about Sabetha’s viability? Viability is a constant worry in our 1A schools and that worry doesn’t seem shared by Sabetha. From the 1A school perspective when viability becomes a worry to Sabetha, it isn’t “let’s think of ways to save money”, it comes back to “those smaller schools are draining us.” It is reasonable for a school to want a new track and a athletic charter bus as Sabetha is currently looking for. But, instead of closing a school to create a financial windfall to pay for those wants, perhaps Sabetha could look at what they could do to cut costs in other areas to pay for those expenses.

A board of education’s purpose is to provide the best EDUCATION to ALL students, not just the ones that attend a particular campus. I feel priorities for some have changed and ALL students are no longer being considered.

Ann Shaughnessy



The Sabetha Herald1791 Posts

The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.

Obituary: Kathleen Haag


thumbnail of ISSUE 3.22.2023

March 22, 2023


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