Local control was the theme when representatives from public school districts in Cass County met Friday morning, April 12, with four state legislators to discuss issues being considered during the 2019 legislative session. The meeting was hosted by the Pleasant Hill School District.
Specifically, Cass County school districts want to be able to set their own calendar and start of school date and to choose the election dates for bond and levy issues. The group also overwhelmingly favored keeping school board elections in April, rather than in November as has been proposed.
Other issues discussed were varied – including school funding in the state budget, A+ and advanced courses, career and technical education, how to attract people to the teaching profession, and tax cuts and abatements.
This is the fifth year for the school districts to join forces under the banner “Cass County Kids First” to develop and endorse a list of legislative priorities.
The legislative priorities are organized in four categories of funding, local control, accountability, and student choice concerns. After developing and endorsing the list of legislative priorities, the group invited legislators who represent the districts to attend several planned events for 2019.
In attendance and answering questions at the April 12 legislative breakfast were: Sen. Ed Emery, R-31; Rep. Jack Bondon, R-56; Rep. Mike Haffner, R-55; and Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-33. Unable to attend were: Rep. Jack Runions, D-37, and Rep. Rodger Reedy, R-57.
Cass County Kids First includes the 10 public school districts in Cass County: Archie R-V School District, Belton #124 School District, Drexel R-IV School District, East Lynne 40 School District, Harrisonville School District, Midway R-I School District, Pleasant Hill School District, Raymore-Peculiar School District, Sherwood Cass School District, and Strasburg C-3 School District. Their elected Boards of Education serve over 18,000 Cass County students.
In picture, from left: Sen. Ed Emery, R-31; Rep. Donna Pfautsch, R-33; Rep. Mike Haffner, R-55; and Rep. Jack Bondon, R-56.