BOE discusses book banning, summer school, class sizes and approves 2022 tax rates


Katie Bowers

BOE meeting discussed the banning of books over sexually explicit images.

At the KSD Board of Education meeting on Sept. 26, there were several public comments in support of KSD librarians, and against the banning of books in the district. Besides the banning of books, the BOE also talked about summer school, class sizes and board committees. Financial reports, counseling services, Early Separation Incentive Plan and the 2022 tax rates were also discussed. 


Many attendees stepped up to voice their concerns over the changes to the libraries, claiming that other parents shouldn’t have the right to restrict their child’s education. This was in response to some books being pulled from libraries due to senate bill 775, which restricts sexually explicit pictures from books in schools. The books were pulled after a book review process started by Ulrich back in January, with all changes in book availability done through existing procedures. Board members were not fully united on this issue, with Moticka saying that books help kids feel seen, and Andrews saying this is not a us vs them issue, it’s about getting sexually explicit visuals out of books.


The 2022 tax rates reached the tax rate cap, and the residential tax rate for homeowners was set at $3.61. To learn more, read the web brief from the Sept. 19 tax rate hearing on our website.


This year’s summer school programs have successfully raised the majority of its students to the required level in one or more courses. Presenters say that this year’s success is attributed to its unique approach to teaching and use of relevant and fun topics to engage students in course work. Additionally, KSD elementary schools could become overloaded, with a couple of their classes close to maximum capacity, which would require a new class to be created. As of now, the BOE has not reached a conclusion as to where these sections would be located if the need arises.


A new term limit for board representatives will be presented at the next meeting on Oct. 10. They will decide committee meeting times and locations which will be added to the BOE schedule and calendar in an attempt to increase board member participation.


At the end of the meeting, the BOE approved both the August and fiscal year financial reports. They also approved a request to look for new outside counseling services for KHS and both middle schools. KHS administration said that since COVID-19 started, KSD has seen an increased number of students expressing suicidal thoughts and mental health problems. The counselors would spend three days a week at KHS and two days a week at the middle schools. 

BOE approved a request to allow administrators to receive proposals for new counseling services at KHS and both middle schools. (Cassie Sprang)

The board then approved the Early Separation Incentive Plan for certified and support staff. This is supposed to provide savings to the district and give a financial incentive to employees that retire from the district early. Teachers that qualify and retire early get a one time payment of 30% of their 2022-23 salary.