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Rick Thode seeks re-election to the Raytown School Board

rick thode1024

I am Rick Thode, and I am running for reelection to the Consolidated C-2 Board of Education. I was elected in 2009 to serve a one year term and reelected in 2010 to serve a three year term. My wife, Sandy, and I have lived in the school district for 25 years, and our three sons (and Sandy) attended Raytown schools. I am a graduate of Wichita State University, obtained an MBA from Northwestern University and served as a CPA for 33 years before retiring in 2009. I serve as Treasurer on the Park University Board of Trustees and am past President of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired.

I am standing for reelection for three reasons. First, our schools significantly improved their test scores last year through standardization of curriculum, enhanced teacher training and strong leadership and commitment from the Administration and Board of Education. I want to continue our upward path and believe that attention to rigor in the classroom will further boost our success and enable our kids to graduate and attend college.

Secondly, it is essential that the district win its appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court of a recent lower court decision which would require our schools to accept student transfers from the non-accredited Kansas City school district. In my view, the decision was wrong and the transfer law is unconstitutional. If the decision is upheld, our district will become overcrowded with student transfers, and Raytown taxpayers could be required to pay the bills.  I will fight to make sure that every legal and political argument is made to the Supreme Court to win the appeal and protect our district from this illegal encroachment on our schools and taxpayers.

Finally, I will fight TIFs which allow cities to wrongfully take taxes of school districts and other jurisdictions and reallocate such monies for projects which have nothing to do with education. I participated in the successful negotiation of the Winchester TIF which would have cost Raytown schools over $14 million in district money. TIFs are designed to line the pockets of developers and lawyers and take money from our teachers, schools and children. I will fight to protect our schools from the egregious misuse of public funds and will demand that TIFs be structured with claw backs and terms that require authorities to use money for valid growth opportunities.

I seek your vote on April 2nd.

Rick Thode 

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