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McPherson School Board Discusses Bond Options, Board Vacancies


MCPHERSON, Kan. – Some 40 people attended Monday night’s McPherson USD 418 Board of Education meeting, with many of them asking the board to consider placing a bond proposal on the ballot in November. In May, voters turned down an $88.5 million proposal that’s largest component was a new academic wing at McPherson High School.

One of the two people who addressed the group was Katie Walters, who organized a meeting last month to discuss how to move forward. “This meeting was not about the next bond plan or personal preferences, but more of an opportunity to see who would show up, gauge interest, see who would want to commit to the next steps to work for a solution for our schools,” Walters told the board.

Later in the meeting, the Board discussed the outcome of the bond issue. During that discussion, the board talked about costs, and whether the same proposal should be submitted or an alternate version. Board member Dan Lichty suggested if a question is submitted in November, the board consider submitting a much larger proposal such as the one voters turned away in 2021.

Meanwhile, Board member Jeff Johnson, the only one of four incumbent board members seeking re-election this year, asked if it would be better to wait on submitting a new proposal until after the November elections, or at least ask the candidates running for the board for their views on the subject.

Open Positions

In addition to at least three new members to be elected in November, USD 418 needs to fill two open positions on the board due to resignations. The Board accepted the resignations of Brooke Kanitz and Brian Meek, both of whom resigned last month as they are moving outside the district.

Because of the timing of the resignations, their positions can’t be filled through a special election in the fall and will have to be filled by the five remaining board members. The people appointed would fill out the remainder of the terms which run to January 2026.

The remaining Board members will discuss how to fill the vacancies at their July 12th meeting. Along with the action to accept the resignations, a resolution was adopted formally declaring the seats held by Kanitz and Meek vacant, which begins the replacement process.

Science Curriculum

A proposed middle and high school science curriculum proposal was accepted by the Board, which heard a presentation on the proposal. Formal action to adopt the new curriculum will come at the July meeting along with the adoption of revised handbooks for the 2023-24 school year, which the board also accepted.