Two things from page A-4 last week piqued my interest so I thought I would look into them a little further.
First the picture and note on the Platte County R-3 School District Counselors. The school district-supplied post in your paper and in emails sent to parents about the counseling program being “recognized as one of 69 schools from 19 states across the country as a Model Program by the ASCA.”
I placed a call to the ASCA (American School Counselor Association) to find that this “designation” comes with a cost to be a member and an additional cost to apply for the “designation” and plaque.
With over 30,000 schools in the United States, only 152 applied for this designation. In Missouri only four schools paid and applied. Guess how many received it…four. To meet the requirement for the designation you fill out a two page check sheet over the course of the year showing you are following the ASCA guidelines, including supporting documents.
In the private sector this would be called doing your job. R-3 taxpayers will now get to pay for at least one district member to attend a convention in Austin to receive an award that apparently 99.9% of other school districts think is useless. Less than 1200 (.03%) have applied for the designation since its inception.
Wouldn’t it have been more truthful to just say our counselors are accredited by the ASCA and not try to make it look like something it is not? You can add this to the list of the other awards and designations bought and paid for by R-3. Maybe this kind of self-promotion will stop with our new superintendent, as it is obvious the school board is clueless. Or maybe the papers could dig into the details just a little before printing the info supplied by the district even though you shouldn’t have to. The phone call to ASCA took less than five minutes and they were very nice.
Second, as I just completed lots of flights out of KCI the past year, I liked the way the aviation department in your short article is spinning the increase in passenger boardings compared to last year. YTD as far back as 2010 we have not had fewer passengers at KCI. We are still down over 25% from pre-pandemic numbers. What I have witnessed is many unused gates, fewer flights, cancelled/delayed flights and overpriced rental cars leading many to now drive to their destination. It has happened to our family and friends more times than I can count the past six months.
Back in 2016 we were told the New KCI Terminal was going to add 3 to 6 dollars per leg of your flight. Then it went to 10 dollars, this calculation was done planning on a continued increase in passengers at KCI. Now we have a pilot shortage, COVID, reduced flights, possible recession, flight schedules changing constantly to the extent you hate to fly, business travel down (probably forever) and now lets add to that an increase of 15 dollars plus per leg of your flight for the new terminal.
Southwest has flown almost 35% fewer people in and out of KCI YTD compared to 2019. Southwest just cut another 6% of flights from their flight schedule nationwide. Southwest flies almost half of the passenger traffic out of KCI compared to all other airlines. Air freight is up but only by about 15%.
The airlines are the ones paying for the “New KCI.” This was to be paid for with an added fee to your ticket. Previous news articles say the airlines will make payments of $104 to $110 million per year to support the new terminal. Divide the current amount of traffic into $110 million and it works out to about $14 dollars per flight, more than double the original numbers.
Do you think the airlines will just “eat” this additional cost? With this information how much do you think it will go up to fly out of KCI and don’t forget the terminals being torn down still have over $100 million in debt from a recent renovation.
The new terminal will be fancy and heaven knows it will have lots of room but can we afford it if flights remain low?
I know The Landmark supported the new KCI project but it would be interesting to see if you can find what the official updated numbers are for the additional cost per ticket to support this 1.5 to 1.6 billion dollar project because I cannot find them anywhere and this seems kind of important with everything going on with air travel.
Rural Platte County