Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hike Taxes or Close School

Here's the bottom line, folks . . . either we find significant cuts to next year's budget or else we're faced with a significant tax increase. Since teacher contract negotiations will likely not be completed in time for the upcoming budget, our only option is to consider building closures in schools that are underutilized.

For the board, this is a no-win proposition because it's a highly emotional subject that will anger one side or the other. You can read more about the subject in this Courier Times article.

What do you think?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would hate for a school to close;we have one within walking distance to us and if it was to close it would be very unpleasant.

However, I would also know I needed to move past the disappointment and realize its for the best of the community to close it. As long as the process is impartial and fact-based that is.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that politics do not enter into making the right decision. I believe that some board members said they wouldn't close schools in their region. If that is true, it will be very difficult to convince the public that the Board is making an impartial decision.

I believe that one of the Board membes said ther could be significant saveings in closing facilities.

i must be living in Jersey said...

Let's hope the school board can make an impartial decision. It scares me when you say some members promised to keep schools in their area open. Yes we will save taxes if the board does this but the board must be fair about it because kids are involved.

Concerned Mom and taxpayer said...

They can close schools as long as there is really enough room to put students in other schools. I've heard that the high school will be really crowded when they make 9th grade part of it. That makes me concerned that the board is more interested in saving a buck than giving our children a good environment to learn in. Stopping the new high school was a campaign promise by some school board members. If it's the same ones that made promises about keeping the schools in their area open, then they should not be allowed to vote on school closures. If a school should be closed, it should be because it's the right decision, not because it was a tool used to get votes.

Anonymous said...

Building closures may be inevitable, but I would encourage the board members to ask a lot of questions before making a decision. To close a building by the end of this school year seems too fast. Has anyone asked what our contingency plan is if the 9th grade should happen to NOT fit in the high school when renovations are completed? I would encourage the board to allow the newly renovated high school to run for a year before closing a middle school. Learn the building. Then, if the 9th grade will fit, great. But if not, we must have a plan B, and I have not heard one.

I also heard that a developer applied to build a 450 unit development in Lower South, by Street Road and Philmont Ave. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but if true, this could cause a population increase.

Anonymous said...

Two newly re-elected board members promised in their campaign that they would not consider closing any schools in Middletown Township. It is not fair or reasonable to consider closing a school if you are not willing to look at all of the options! Residents of other municipalities pay just as much in taxes as those in Middletown Township!

Anonymous said...

The board needs to give the school closing option serious consideration and not let emotion or politics get in the way of a sound financial decision. Closing an under-utilized building, and eliminating the redundant support staff and services is unfortunately one of the few ways to get real cost savings for the taxpayers without reducing the quality of the classroom education.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that new construction of the high school at the originally quoted price of 79 million would have resulted in reimbursement to the district of 50% of the 79 million? If so, that would have meant an actual cost of new construction of about 34.5 million after the reimbursement. The project is closing in on 90 million so far.

This is basically the same Board of School Directors that thought renovating would save money, and now these same forward thinking, part time, members of Neshaminy are at it again. Blame the teachers and staff for the financial problems, cut benefits, put the budget burdens on the school employees and parents to fix these self inflicted, financial woes.

We deserve what we get in Neshaminy, we voted for it.

Anonymous said...

Just a comment on the last post. I don't know if the reimbursement figures are correct, but there are other facts that makes this decision a poor financial one. Besides the renovation (I guess now they call it reconstruction),costing the same or more than the new high school, there are other expenses and potential lost real estate appreciation associated with it. I don't know if people realize that several sections in the high school will have to be replaced or repaired in the next 5 years. These were "wish list" items that didn't qualify to be part of the renovation, but they will have to be addressed shortly. So basically we spent $90 million, got no bonus in our real estate and we will be battling over, what is next to be fixed ? This issue lingers on because some people at board meetings give long speeches about how great this decision was. Financial decisions and perception define the strength of a community, and the price of Neshaminy continues to fall.

Anonymous said...

Please enlighten the rest of us on what sections of the high school will need to be replaced within 5 years. Thanks for your insight because I dont think like you said most people know this.

Anonymous said...

I think gym 3 would be part of that. It came up once at a board meeting as an item that didn't qualify for renovation, but will have to be addressed in the near future.
I just think that items will come up for discussion in the next few years, some that do need to be replaced and others that don't.
It just makes the board's job that much harder. A new high school would have assured everyone that no more renovations are necessary for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Simply put if we don't close an elementary school in Levittown than we should recall our re-elected Levittown board members. It is an ABSOLUTE disgrace that they act for the sake of political opportunity and do not take the best interest of the community into account.

We have had a REFERENDUM. It will soon be time for a RECALL.

RECALL, RECALL, RECALL!!!

Anonymous said...

Most of these board members have never set foot in these builings they are considering closing. The only time they are there are Election Day.

Shame on the schoolboard for the storms that lie ahead. Much of this could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

Are there any guarantees that a certain building would be able to even be rented based on location? That is just an opinion. Where in the report are the IU classes listed? What about cutting the padded administrative positions?

Paul Kadri has done nothing but moved our district ahead...if/when he leaves...it will be our loss. He truly cares about the education of these chilren more than certain members of the board.