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Letter to the Editor

This past Monday, January 24th, I attended the Raytown School Board meeting and publicly thanked the School Board members who spoke up against the Center 63 Project. I asked that this not be a one time event and to also start speaking up against tax give aways in Kansas City , MO that impact the district. My message was well accepted by those in attendance, who as school teachers are directly impacted by these tax give aways. As I have had time to reflect upon those brief comments I realize so much more should have been said like:

I want to thank those School Board members who attended the Raytown Board of Aldermen meeting on January 4 for stepping up and speaking out against the ongoing and ever increasing tax give aways the Board of Aldermen have been dishing out. Call these tax breaks whatever you want, but when they take money from our schools, parks and other entities that rely on tax dollars they hurt our community and destroy the faith in our elected officials to put the community as a whole first.

I hope this was not a one time attempt to wake up the Raytown Board of Aldermen, but this board’s announcement that enough is enough and the line has been drawn in the sand that regardless if it is Raytown or Kansas City this School Board will no longer sit quietly and allow tax dollars to be diverted from our schools.

As I have said, I want to thank this School Board for stepping up, but I must question the timing and why this same board did not speak up against the Brywood Shopping Center Project in Kansas City that diverted more taxes from the Raytown School District than the Center 63 Project in Raytown . Further, it is important for us, the members of the general public, to have a clear understanding of exactly how the nearly 26 million dollars given to the Raytown School District by the City of Raytown as part of the Wal-Mart Project has been spent by this School Board.

Yes it is important the budgeting process of this School District or any taxing entity is not negatively impacted by other taxing entities like the City of Raytown. However, each of these other entities including this School Board must maintain due diligence in their effort to spend their funding in a reasonable and responsible manner. It is clear there are many within the community that still question the spending on the artificial turf for the football fields. I find it hard to believe that I am alone in wanting this School Board to focus on the basics that will drive test scores and create a future work force for our state that others will strive to compete with, instead of sports trophies to collect dust in display cabinets.

Therefore it is clear that while this School Board needs to continue to take an active roll in addressing tax breaks it must be done with every entity that impacts this district, including Kansas City. This School Board must also prove their action on January 4 was not a one time objection, and by cleaning up their own over-spending habits and by driving up test scores that will impact every student and not those few that benefit from use of our over expensive football fields.

I thank you for your time and hope that I have touched your hearts to focus on not only speaking up, but setting the example others should live by.

Richard Tush

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