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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1946


Although the war officially ended in February, housewives purchased rationed sugar and landlords complained of rent controls.  By the middle of the year, the OPA [Annotation:   OPA - Office of Price Administration established April 11, 1941] had come to an end, however, and most commodities could be bought without coupons.  President Truman designated certain days on which meat should not be purchased, but the country was slow to follow his suggestions.

Weary of the long years of war, the world's interest focused on the romance and wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in 1947.  Scientists hoped to discover a vaccine that would ward off dreaded polio.  Kansas "wets" pushed for the repeal of the state's 88 year-old prohibition law.  [Annotation: Laws against the sale of liquor remained on the books in Kansas from 1880 to 1949.]  Inflation caused the street railway company to increase fares to ten cents.  In a March election, the voters defeated a plan to employ a city manager.

Argentine citizens, on October 16, surprised Dr. K. C. Haas, board member, with flowers and gifts to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of his office at 21st and Ruby.  Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, and other youth organizations led in a city drive to buy 600 bags of flour for the Friendship Train.  When the train stopped at the Santa Fe Station in Argentine on November 21 after its tour of the wheat lands, Drew Pearson accepted the gift for the sponsors.  The flour was sent to hungry people in Europe.

Operating costs of the schools rose.  Except in Junior College, where fewer veterans enrolled for high school, attendance in the schools increased.  State aid was disappointingly low, although the legislature passed an act enabling the board to increase the tax levy to raise salaries about 17%.  Because of teachers going into business and industry, a new salary schedule was made.  Instead of a year of 36 weeks, the school term was extended for the teaching personnel to 38, teachers to be on duty several days before and after the regular school time.  At the legislation session a bill affecting teachers' retirement was passed.

When the temporary building for the children of war workers in Fairfax was erected in 1942-43, it cost the government approximately $70,000.  On January 7, 1947, the board purchased the building from the Federal Works Administration for $14,000.  As Fairfax District, from 1911 to 1929, was part of the Kansas City school system, the Board of Education felt that should the district annex itself again to a school area, Kansas City should be the choice.  A move by Washington Rural High School to annex Fairfax was met with protests.  On March 21, a Kansas City group visited Topeka to object to the bill before the legislature. 

Little building except repairs went on during the war.  Bright colors, instead of the usual gray or brown, had made more attractive rooms for the past three years.  When Cooper was abandoned in 1939, the old building was sold to E. W. Harris who razed it.  Now, eight years later, the board put up for sale the site containing seven lots.  It was hoped some industry would buy it.  Downtown expansion, parochial schools in the neighborhood, and rising operational costs caused the board to close Bancroft School.  In a letter to parents in August, Superintendent Schlagle explained that children would enroll at Riverview or Central in September.  The Buildings and Grounds Department would retain the school for storage and the children would have the use of the playground.

During the summer of 1947 a twelve-week summer session was held at Junior College.  New or improved services were added in the fall to other departments in the system.  Mrs. Marjorie Hands began work with children who had speech defects.  Auditory tests, first given in 1941, were extended to high school years.  Health programs included older students.  Audio-visual instruction was stressed and more ungraded rooms provided.  Education majors from the university did practice teaching in the city schools.  School time was saved when the PTA took over the sale of United States Savings Stamps in the schools.

Although in 1947 no Booker T. Washington was among the names here, colored students at Sumner welcomed a visit from the daughter of the famous educator of Tuskegee, Alabama.  Mrs. Portia Washington Pittman addressed the student body on October 4.  She was promoting the sale of fifty-cent commemorative pieces in honor of her father.

The board sent a letter of protest to Representative Errett Schrivner concerning the proposed sale of Huron Cemetery.  Unfortunately, Mr. Schrivner answered, it would take more than sentiment on the part of citizens here to block the sale, as the city possessed no title to the plot.

After serving two years as NEA president, Superintendent Schlagle was honored at the convention in Cincinnati by the awarding of a gold key and framed parchment scroll in appreciation for his services as president.  On July 14, he was elected one of a four-member Board of Trustees of the NEA which has authority over properties and financial resources of the organization.  This group also elects the executive secretary.

At the second annual meeting of the United States National Commission for UNESCO on September 11 in Chicago, Mr. Schlagle was a delegate at the invitation of the State Department.  The next month he was honored by election to the National Camp Fire Board in New York.

Next Section   1948

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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