Letter to the Editor

NEVC patrons have alternatives

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dear Editor:

Let me share my reasons why the NEVC levy did not pass and, if brought up again, will not pass. The current timing is not good. Nearly everything costs more today than a year ago such as food and fuel. You can relate to this. Why vote to increase taxes and add to this growing financial burden?

Within or nearby the school district, there are seven Christian schools. Many NEVC families are sending their children to one of them. Others are home schooling their children. It is false thinking to hope that there will be many "yes" votes, if any, among those who sacrifice greatly to "not" have their children in public schools. Why reject public schools? They have changed in recent decades from what at one time was a good place for children to be educated wherein children did not go home with values that were against their home teaching. Though all the growing realities that are occurring in public schools, murder, rape, drugs, etc., as reported in the media, may not pertain to the NEVC School now, the RISK is there. Public schools have become a platform to change Christian and the historic moral values of the students. Thus immorality has risen in schools and traditional education has suffered. Private education is chosen to eliminate the risk that children will come home with opposing home values such as learning evolution is true or homosexuality is OK, to name a few offenses to tradition and Christianity. Think of our local growing Amish population. I would bet that they have their own school so that their children are taught their values so that the school and home are united. The NEVC School is provisionally accredited at a seven. If the seven drops to five, it will be unaccredited. Public schools nearby are doing much better. Take advantage of them. Building does not equate to these facts.

When I moved here in 1982, Schell and Walker both fielded boys' basketball teams with full benches. Now, with the schools combined into one, the boys' basketball team, I am told, could only field four boys at some games. Sounds like enrollment is declining. In fact, I am told that at current trends it will drop to 170 students in five years. Why build a new school with declining enrollment? One reason for the projected decline is that the growing Amish, Church of Israel, and Mennonite communities will continue to send their children to their own church schools. Some families in the NEVC district send their children to the Lutheran school in Bates County. These private school choices are not likely to change.

Within the NEVC school district there are about 25,000 acres of conservation land that has removed farms and homes off the land that may have had children to attend the NEVC School. The public school enrollment base is declining and the private school base is growing. This is an apparent fact. I believe that the levy will never pass with the facts presented here remaining on the table.


Gray Clark

Schell City