October 17th, 2018
Liberal Local News

Education key for fire prevention

fire prevention photoSparky the Fire Dog helps a MacArthur Elementary School student navigate a fire safety drill at school last week. The Liberal Fire Department will be keeping busy the rest of the month with other Fire Prevention Month activities. L&T photo/Robert PierceELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times


October is Fire Prevention Month around the U.S., and the Liberal Fire Department will be keeping busy this month educating many young minds in the community. 

“Fire Prevention Month is focused a lot more on the younger students in the district so we're going to be visiting with all the second graders and third graders in USD 480, so during the next few weeks we're going to be talking to about 750 students about fire prevention and go through all that with them,” LFD Fire Marshall Cody Regier said. “The motto for this year is 'Look, Listen, Learn – Fire Can Happen Anywhere' and what we're emphasizing is you're looking for hazards and things that could potentially cause a fire, you're listening for the smoke alarm and then learning your two ways out of every room and they need to be clutter-free. A big thing is a lot of children will have a big dresser in their room and there's a TV on it and a lot of parents put that stuff in front of a window, but that potentially blocks a way out if there's an emergency.”

Overall, Regier said, he and the rest of the LFD are excited to pass on their knowledge. 

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• Leader & Times


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Redskins crush Panthers, 7-1

redskin19Liberal’s Manny Arroyo (19) advances the ball against a Great bend defender Monday evening at Redskin Field. The Redskins pressured the Panthers most of the night, keeping the ball near the Great Bend goal for most of the second half in a 7-1 blowout win. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

 Leader & Times

The best defense for the Liberal Redskins Monday against the Great Bend Panthers was their offense. The Panthers rarely approached the Liberal goal, and the Redskins lofted the ball downfield time and time again to set up one-on-one opportunities with the Great Bend goalkeeper in a 7-1 blowout victory for the Redskins.

Great Bend’s only goal may have come as a bit of a surprise to the Redskin defenders after Liberal had a 2-0 lead early in the second half. With the Panthers struggling to reach Liberal’s end, the Panthers had one decent shot, and they made it count.

By IAN APPLEGATE Seward sports informaiton director

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Barely half of 2018 school spending went to instruction

A SECOND OPINION, The Kansas Policy Institute


There’s universal agreement that nothing impacts learning more than the interaction between students and teachers, yet local school boards allocated just 53.9 percent of total spending to Instruction during the 2018 school year. The Kansas Department of Education (KSDE), defines Instruction as “direct interaction between students and teachers.”

When the Kansas Supreme Court ordered an $853 million funding increase in 2005, the Legislature encouraged school boards to put most of the money into Instruction by passing a policy recommendation urging 65 percent of total funding to go towards Instruction. Local school boards ignored the Legislature and reduced the allocation from 54.2 percent to the current level.

The Kansas Association of School Boards likes to claim far larger spending allocations to ‘the classroom’ by counting other spending but there is no official state or federal definition of “classroom;’ that’s merely an attempt to deflect attention from what is actually spent on what has the greatest influence on student achievement – direct interaction between students and teachers.

Had local school boards done so each year, $7.8 billion more would have been spent on Instruction since 2005. Immediately going to 65 percent may not have been practical, but even raising the allocation by a half percentage point each year until reaching the target would have resulted in $4.9 billion more being spent on Instruction.