Springfield, MO

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Letter to the Editor: Prop S Pro: SPS building improvements vital to students, future workforce

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Dear editor,

Proposition S is about safe, high-quality learning environments for the more than 25,000 students and 4,000 educators of Springfield Public Schools.

Proposition S is not about test scores, technology or the SPS administration. Simply put, it is about facilities.

As part of the 31-member Community Task Force on Facilities that spent more than five months studying this issue in-depth, we can attest to the vital need for the improvements put forth in Prop S. The need is great. For many years, the majority of the taxpayer investment in SPS facilities tracked the growth in our community. We needed brand new schools to accommodate the increased number of students.

Now, it’s time to invest in the existing facilities to ensure that all of our students – our future workforce – have access to the same opportunities to learn and grow. This includes secure entrances at more than 30 school buildings, new spaces to expand early childhood education to an additional 600 pre-K students, as well as several new and renovated schools.

The expenditures made by the SPS Board of Education for conceptual architectural renderings and facilities evaluations were invaluable to our task force as we conducted our work. We had a firm grasp of the issue at hand and a clear understanding of the possible solutions. That is how smart organizations approach any complex problem. We feel extremely confident in the proposal we put forth, and we applaud the school board for accepting our recommendations as is and for putting them on the ballot.

As business leaders, we know the economic development value of having strong public schools to attract and retain talent. Teachers will tell you that safer, quality learning environments are an important part of the equation in taking care of our children. We have a need in Springfield, and we have an opportunity to make a common sense investment to address it on April 2.

We urge you to vote Yes on S.

—Marshall Kinne and Dr. Tom Prater, members of the Community Task Force on Facilities


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