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Thu, June 30

Miner Editorial | Let’s help our children get the best education possible

Manzanita Elementary School. (Photo capture via Google Maps)

Manzanita Elementary School. (Photo capture via Google Maps)

Our children need us, and it’s time we stepped up to care for them.

Kingman Unified School District needs space, infrastructure upgrades, and better transportation. All in the name of teaching and caring for our children.

When the Great Recession hit in 2008, our state government began to take upon itself to steal from our schools the supposed constitutionally protected funding our institutions of learning are lawfully entitled. Year after year, the education budget in Arizona was slashed.

This took about $3 million per year out of KUSD’s budget for about 10 years to the tune of approximately $30 million.

During this time period, all the school districts around the state felt the pinch. Many of them went to their voters and asked for bond money to get through the crisis.

Kingman Unified School District did not. KUSD pulled itself up by its bootstraps and dealt with what the state mandated it to do.

KUSD needs our help. Our children need our help.

Our children need space to learn. The district’s plan is renovate Palo Christi downtown, and move the Little Explorers preschool there along with creating a training center for teachers. This would preserve Palo Christi and allow for a more efficient use of La Senita on Gordon Drive.

La Senita would return to its original purpose of being an elementary school and would be a great help in alleviating the crowded classrooms in Kingman. Only Cerbat on Jagerson Avenue is the only elementary school that is not at capacity.

There are grandparents in Kingman who attended Manzanita, La Senita and Kingman Middle schools. The air conditioning systems that did not work back in the 1970s are the same systems our children today have to suffer with.

The hot days of July-September and late April through May make afternoon learning a miserable experience. As we all know, when we’re hot it is a short path to becoming tired and grouchy. It only worsens when you have to try and understand math among the other subjects. The only relief in sight for students at these schools is the end-of-day school bell.

These schools need interior work to improve the air conditioning and heating, not just the replacement of HVAC units.

Several other schools do need HVAC units replaced as well. Comfortable children will learn better than hot, miserable children.

KUSD needs better buses. These same grandparents took buses without air conditioning, and KUSD still has many buses in its fleet of about 60 vehicles without A/C. There are buses in service that have A/C, but it’s better said they don’t because as fast as these old systems can be repaired, they break down again.

KUSD is also concerned about the safety and security of our children. The district wants to use a new security system in which it can turn off an employee’s access to a school when they leave their job rather than waiting for keys to be returned. Returning keys when leaving a job doesn’t guarantee duplicated keys are turned in.

The Miner Editorial Board believes these are valid reasons for requesting $35 million, the first time in over a decade KUSD has asked all of us for additional money. At a cost of $60 a year, about $5 a month, for every $100,000 of property owned, the board believes this is a bargain.

Please help our children.

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