Anissa Bloom resigns following land transfer discussion
On Monday, March 13, the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education met for their regular monthly meeting. During the meeting, they discussed multiple topics including land transfer boundaries.
Before discussion started, Superintendent Todd Evans requested that the board allow him and Board Attorney Martin Mishler to speak to other school districts about land transfer boundaries.
During the discussion, Kathy Lippert suggested the idea of setting the north land transfer boundary along Kansas Highway 20/110th Street/56th Road to include Goff.
Anissa Bloom asked why the board isn’t following traditional bus routes to determine boundaries. She also asked why the board wouldn’t follow historically placed school district boundaries.
Stan Keim said it makes the most sense to follow along Kansas Highway 20/110th Street/56th Road.
“Logistically, [following K-20/110th Street/56th Road] just makes so much sense, because you do have an outlet off of Highway 75 onto Highway 20, and then on W Road, you have outlets off of that on 56th Road. So logistically, this makes much more sense,” Keim said. “If you try to go back and do something historical, again I think that just muddies up the water. I think we have to give props in direction here to work with Jackson Heights. And if you look at their map, I just think it’s a great place to start.”
Bloom asked how going along historical boundaries, “muddies up the water.” Keim said if they look at the boundaries of every school district in Kansas from 1967, for example, the boundary lines are jagged. He said going along K-20/110th Street/56th Road is “probably the straightest boundary in the entire state,” besides going around Goff.
Bloom was concerned about Wetmore students living outside the K-20 boundary line the board was discussing, and if students living outside that line would have to petition out of USD No. 113 in order to attend other schools.
Leslie Scoby agreed with Keim that she liked going along a natural, straight boundary. Jim Scoby said this is a good place to start and have a discussion about.
Lippert made a motion to authorize Superintendent Evans and Attorney Mishler to speak to Jackson Heights and/or the USD No. 380 Vermillion school district about land transfer boundaries. The board approved this motion with all in favor.
Superintendent Evans reviewed the boundary line that the majority of the board members thought would be a good start for Evans and Mishler to speak to the other school districts about.
Lippert made another motion to authorize Evans and Mishler to speak to Jackson Heights and/or USD No. 380 Vermillion school district specifically about the Kansas Highway 20/110th Street/56th Road boundary line, to include all of Goff, to get a discussion started about land transfer boundaries.
During discussion on the motion, Bloom asked if it’s correct that Sabetha would stand to gain “a considerable amount of land valuation” by using K-20/110th Street/56th Road as the district boundary.
Lippert said that land has been with USD 113 since it was consolidated in the past. Bloom responded, saying the land was allocated that way and asked if Sabetha would stand to gain more allocation from land valuation if the boundary line is drawn at Kansas Highway 20.
Lippert responded to her question, saying Sabetha wouldn’t gain allocation because “the land has always been a part of USD 113.” Bloom asked in return if it’s correct that the Wetmore people living above that K-20 boundary line pay their taxes “with the understanding that their money would be allocated to the Wetmore school.”
Lippert said to Bloom that “those people pay their taxes because they’re required to pay their taxes.” Bloom asked that Lippert answer her question.
Lippert responded that “the district divided up different lands and attached them to different buildings.” Bloom reworded her question and asked if it’s correct that “the land above the boundary line has been attached to the Wetmore school and the budget has been put into the Wetmore school to be used.”
Kent Saylor chimed in that the district budget is based upon school enrollment. After making further comments about land valuation, Saylor said the board “just needs to get a conversation started” about the land transfer boundaries with other school districts.
With no other discussion, the board voted on Lippert’s motion to authorize Evans and Mishler to speak to Jackson Heights and/or USD No. 380 Vermillion school district specifically about the land area along Kansas Highway 20/110th Street/56th Road. The motion was approved 4-3, with Lippert, L. Scoby, J. Scoby and Keim in favor, and Saylor, Bloom and Phillip Buessing not in favor.
Resignation of Anissa Bloom
After the board approved the last couple items on the agenda and before the meeting adjourned, Bloom made one last statement to the board members – this statement being her resignation from her position on the board, effective immediately.
Her resignation is written as such:
“I resign from the USD 113 school board effective March 13, 2023. I can no longer abide by the decisions made by this board for the whole USD 113 district. My reputation as a 32-year educator, community member and board member should speak for the type of leader I am. Serving on this board has changed my mindset and the direction in which I want to serve. I will be able to help my community in this challenge more on the ground level. By resigning from this board, I will be able to be honest to my community and be the leader I choose to be.”
After presenting her resignation, Bloom left the meeting. The other board members accepted Bloom’s resignation 6-0.
To watch the meeting on YouTube, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaexsQYmO6Y.