L-K Board of Trustees votes to end Kickstart program, sell old buses

By Ben Woods

The Linden-Kildare CISD Board of Trustees last week voted to end the Kickstart martial arts program, sell three buses and purchase three new buses. 
“My main rationale is that it (Kickstart) cost $65,000 and only 12 out of 45 fourth graders participated in the program. There is nothing wrong with the program but I think it has seen its high-water mark and is on the downslide -- $65,000 would go a long way in helping with our technology,” said Linden-Kildare Interim Superintendent Roger Hailey. 
Hailey continued to explain that there are other ways to get children involved in physical education without spending $65,000. 
Marlon Sullivan asked about how many children were signed up for the program in the eighth grade and Hailey answered there were only eight last year. 
The board approved the sale of three buses, the large white tour-style buses. 
The buses barely passed inspection the previous year and are up for inspection for the next school year -- and to get them up to code was going to be costly. 
“We have two options -- one is to run them until there is a repair that is such a large amount that we decide that it is not worth it, and at that point in time the bus would not be worth much. The other option is that we have an opportunity to sell all of them and get at least $30,000,” said Hailey. 
Hailey explained his recommendation for selling the buses is due to the uncertainty of how much the district would spend in repairs. 
The board approved the purchase of two 71-passenger yellow buses and one 54-passenger special needs bus. 
“In this particular district with the need that you have for travel for both daily and extracurricular activities, I think the standard yellow bus is your ticket and I think you get more value for your money over the long haul,” said Hailey. 
“With bus number 28 and if you get two new yellow ones then on Friday nights that would take care of the band, the volleyball team and the football team because you need three reliable vehicles,” said Hailey. “I would also recommend in next year’s budget that it would include another yellow bus and that way you would have three new buses.” 
Hailey also explained that if they amended the budget and used federal funds then there would be enough money to purchase another special needs bus as well. 
The District of Innovation plan approval had to be reversed due to skipped steps in getting approval through from the Commissioner of Education’s office, and the board moved to postpone it until the July meeting of the school board. 
“I guess we were doing the waltz when we should have been doing the two-step -- we left one of the steps out and the first step was getting the commissioner of education approval, which we thought we had done that, but come to find out we had not,” said Hailey. 
A budget amendment was approved for purchase of a zero-turn mower because the district had a non-repairable mower that needed to be replaced. 
“The cost of getting it repaired and the time on the engine were high so we decided to get a new mower,” said Hailey.
The board also approved a call for an election on Nov. 7 tor the Linden-Kildare Board of Trustees positions one and two.

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