The Duncan Banner

September 9, 2011

LTE - 5 letters specific to bond issue

Staff Writer
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Teachers provide education, buildings don’t teach

To the Editor

Just a few thoughts on the bond.

People are using the phrase “It’s for the children” a lot again concerning this building project. Yes, they are our future, but will this project give them a better education or is it just to look good?

Will they gain a better education? Are we going to be improving teaching methods? It doesn’t look that way. Also this time we are not talking about children. They are actually teenagers transitioning into young adults. Are they interested in this?

This project seems to be more expensive than it should be. When property taxes go up, so does rent and items sold in stores to compensate for this tax increase, such as groceries, clothing and fuel. People will then cut back on items they don’t have to buy.

This tax rate increase is based on an increase in population, what if this increase turns into a decrease. The people still here will have to pick up the difference. If this drought we are in gets worse or the economy, how many property owners may move?

I would question why two buildings that are newer than the high school building are being tore down while they could still be used, even for storage. I would also question why the sports project is included in the high school project? Some may want one project and not the other.

It’s the teachers that provide the education. A building doesn’t teach.

Robert Conway



Why was our current high school built? Foresight?

To the Editor:

What was the reason that the present Duncan High School was built? Was it to replace a facility that was no longer able to meet the needs of the families of Duncan? Was that the same reason the Duncan Middle School was built? Is that the reason to support this bond issue?

We didn’t live in Duncan when the High School was built. Our children attended this high school quite a number of years ago.

However, we have a grandchild that does attend an elementary school here and we expect she’ll go to Duncan High School. But her third grade class is a large class and the present seventh grade is also large. Will there be room for either of them?

If our community continues to grow as it did in the last decade, will we have be able to accommodate the needs of these students? We need to provide for all our children for the future just as the far-sighted citizens of 1960 did.

Joanne M. Flanders



Extending debt does not improve quality of school

To the Editor:

Even though I do not live in the Duncan school district, as a past president of the Grandfield School Board, I’ve been reading with interest the information about the upcoming bond vote for the Duncan schools.

,Based on the photos published in the paper showing the state of disrepair in the schools (and a picture is worth a thousand words, right?), I’d say some members of the maintenance staff should be looking for new jobs. Why were these things allowed to get so bad in the first place?

Granted, school buildings and school vehicles endure a lot more wear and tear than a home or family car, but some things are the same no matter what: maintenance is an ongoing affair and repairs must be made early when the job is small.

When I have a leaky faucet in my home, I fix it. I don’t wait until the house is flooded and then go looking for a new house. When the car needs oil, I don’t wait for the engine to burn up and just get a new car.

Having a showplace school by extending debt doesn’t mean the quality of education improves.


Billy F. Shelby



Elementary schools dire conditions not dire now?

To the Editor:

Last year, it was imperative to build a super elementary school because of the dire conditions of the current elementary buildings. After the solution put forward was defeated, I assumed the new bond proposal would present other ways of addressing the problem.

Apparently, the elementary schools dire conditions aren’t dire anymore. Now the High School has dire problems. This situation reaffirms my belief the driving force behind these bond proposals is the desire to maintain the current millage rate, and need is the secondary reason. It also tells me a citizen committee is not the best way to determine needs in spite of their best efforts. Keep the bond proposals coming so as not to let the rate decrease.

Apparently, the belief is if the rate were to decrease the citizens of Duncan would let the school buildings collapse before they would approve a property tax increase. Your reasoning tells me you believe I probably will vote yes every time as long as it doesn’t increase my taxes Your reasoning is wrong. I vote yes or no on issues based on what I determine the merits to be.

The reasoning behind a bond proposal should be the determination of needs in the district and then presenting these needs to the public. I believe the needs should come from the school administration. This method might help produce a “needs” list rather than a “wish” list.

This current method seems to be calculating the amount of money that will be available by not letting the millage rate decrease and having a citizens committee determining how to spend the money. This puts the cart before the horse and is absolutely wrong.

You should have more faith in the citizens of Duncan taking care of their school properties.

Jim McSpadden