Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Vote Today, and Encourage Good Candidates Like Wilmot

If you were Kathy Wilmot of Beaver City, Neb., and the state’s most powerful education lobby, the teachers’ union, leveled a dishonest, late-hit, low-blow smear attack against you on the weekend before the election, how would you feel about your decision to offer your candidacy for public service? Not very good. Mrs. Wilmot, former member of the State Board of Education, is running for the southwest Nebraska state legislative seat now. A union-financed postcard implied that she improperly kept a laptop computer that belonged to the state after her tenure on the State Board of Education. Mrs. Wilmot says she thought she had returned it; it was in her attic with other old computer parts, and she has been using her own computer for many years. She said she returned it immediately after she received a letter recently inquiring about it, and that was the first she realized that she hadn’t returned it with all the other equipment she had returned. Mrs. Wilmot has consistently voted against spending increases and questionable or immoral curriculum in Nebraska’s public schools, and wants to expand that representation to all of Nebraska’s governmental functions as a state senator. There’s more coming in this episode, so stay tuned – and in the meantime, get out the vote in the McCook area for Kathy Wilmot.

Three Cheers for Private School Kids in Omaha

Students from Creighton Prep, Marian and Duchesne High Schools are collaborating on a benefit rock concert this Friday night, May 12, at the Sokol Underground in South Omaha. Doors open at 7; tickets are $15, which includes a free T-shirt. The main attraction has donated its concert time: Eagle Seagull of Lincoln. Other groups also will play. The students are attempting to raise money to help the family of Tom Daly, the 17-year-old junior at Roncalli who had a heart attack while mowing some of the numerous lawns he takes care of in order to help support his family. Why? Because his father, an attorney, became mentally and physically disabled a few years ago while falling off a roof cleaning the family’s gutters. Now the son lays in a coma. If you would like to support the teenagers who are supporting this family, please send a donation to the Tom Daly Fund; contact Julie Erickson, (402) 551-2004, for details.

Update on Papillion-LaVista Bond Issue

Here’s what the school district sent a constituent who had inquired about the upcoming Papillion-LaVista bond issue:


As a past participant in the bond issue community forum, we wanted to update you on the current status of the school bond issue…Please, as always, feel free to share any feedback or input you may have…

At the April 24 School Board meeting, the Board of Education reviewed the draft bond issue proposal that will be taken to the community for feedback. The goal is to collect feedback from the community throughout the months of May and June. If necessary, the proposal will be revised throughout the month of July and a resolution adopted by the Board of Education in August. If the community feedback indicates that no changes are necessary, the School Board may adopt the proposal as is. The plan is to have the public vote on the bond proposal in November.

Please mark your calendar to attend one of the bond issue meetings:
May 10 at Hickory Hill Elementary 7:00 pm
May 16 at Rumsey Station Elementary 7:00 pm
May 17 at Anderson Grove Elementary 7:00 pm
May 18 at Papillion-La Vista High School 7:00 pm
May 23 at PL South High School 7:00 pm

ALL meetings are open to the public. Residents can choose any of the above meetings to attend. Please help us spread the word!

The Bond Issue Proposal
Below is a brief synopsis of the projects included in the bond issue proposal.

Two New Elementary Schools (Shadow Lake & Grandview)
$8.6 million (1st)
$8.86 million (2nd – due to inflation)
· Both schools are south of Highway 370
· Relieve crowding at Walnut Creek Elementary
· Built as 3 unit schools (3 classes each grade level)

Rumsey Station Elementary
· Additional multipurpose area & classroom
· Allows neighborhood to remain at Rumsey Station and provide the same educational program as other schools (music and PE)

Hickory Hill
· Classroom addition to accommodate growth from Settlers Creek
· Adds art classroom
· Additional kindergarten classroom

Junior High Schools
· Provides air conditioning to gym at both La Vista Junior High and Papillion Junior High
· Only program assembly area in either junior high school

Papillion-La Vista High School
$17 million
The architect with the assistance of high school administrators conducted a comprehensive study of the facility in order to identify areas that that needed to be upgraded to accommodate the current educational program. Based on that study the following areas were identified.
· Band addition & equipment storage
· Front office, guidance area and front entrance renovation
· Additional classrooms
· North entrance and cafeteria remodel
· Media center expansion
· Classroom and restroom renovation
· Family Consumer science classroom expansion
· Science classroom renovation
· Tech Ed. Classroom addition
· Woods/Home Maintenance renovation
· ADA compliance issues
· Technical upgrades ( increased circuitry and HVAC)
· Fire sprinklers throughout
· Pool Observation addition
· Wrestling room renovation
· Athletic field renovation
o including field turf on a football/soccer field with seating for 500 and seating for 500 around the track

Papillion-La Vista South
$2.88 million
· 16 classroom addition
· Current capacity/ enrollment = 1450 / 1357
· New capacity = 1850
· Accommodate growth on south side of district

· Not currently adequate to serve growing student population
· Renovation of interior
· Addition of parking area for transportation vehicles

Total Project Cost = $39,995,000
Tax Impact = .02 -.04 cents
On a $100,000 home total impact per year $20-$40
On a $200,000 home total impact per year is $40-$80

Nebraska Gets Zero on Top High School List

Earth to Nebraskans: we don’t have even ONE high school on this list from Newsweek of the nation’s top 1,200 high schools. Not even ONE! Nebraska is one of six states not to make this list. Since the rankings are made based on the percentage of graduating seniors who take Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, it could be seen as an indictment of the quality of our curriculum and competitiveness of our schools compared to other states . . . or a compliment to Nebraska educators, that we haven’t yet “fallen” for the push to nationalize our schools through national tests such as those. Which do you think? All I know is, we should talk about this, and make sure we’re OK with it:


Go Big Ed Goes Weekly

Go Big Ed will bring you news briefs every Tuesday on a wide range of topics, instead of one long feature story. They’ll be posted on
www.GoBigEd.blogspot.com and archived in 10 categories on www.GoBigEd.com for easy future reference. Remember to send me story ideas wherever you are across the state, about all facets of K-12 education, including private-school and homeschool news. Thank you!

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