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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Timberlane voters nix school consolidation Operating budget squeaks through

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane voters nix school consolidation Operating budget squeaks through
By Margo Sullivan
margosullivan@eagletribune.com

PLAISTOW — It was unanimous. Timberlane Regional School District voters nipped in the bud a plan to close Sandown Central School and move the students into a new eight-classroom addition at Sandown North Elementary School.

All four towns in the Timberlane Regional School District — Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown — rejected the warrant article which would have paved the way for the Sandown Schools Consolidation Project.

Building the addition would cost the district $4.6 million, but would ultimately save money, School Superintendent Richard La Salle said previously.

The warrant article asked for $455,000 to pay for plans, studies and permitting fees prior to construction. It went down by more than 2-1. The tally was 1,562-3,183.

The $60.6 million operating budget squeaked through. The 62-vote victory — 2,395 yes to 2,333 no — came thanks to the Atkinson vote.

Voters in Danville, Plaistow and Sandown rejected the spending package, leaving no doubt they meant to slam the brakes on spending.

If the budget had failed district-wide, the defeat would have forced school officials to run the schools using the default budget. The savings would have come to about $100,000.

Voters in Danville and Sandown also nixed banking up to $100,000 in a capital reserve fund for future land purchases and building construction. But Plaistow and Atkinson favored the capital reserve installment, which ultimately prevailed, 2,536-2,231.

In the only contested candidates' race, Elizabeth Kosta defeated Joanne Pagel for the Plaistow School Board seat.

Voters also decided to post the annual report on the school district's Web site, instead of mailing it to all residents. All four towns went for the change, which passed 3,609-1,089, and was estimated to save $10,000 in postage. Residents will be able to pick up copies of the booklet at town halls or the superintendent's office.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Home owners with no kids should get a discount on the school taxes!

Anonymous said...

No, they shouldn't. Apparently you don't realize that having a well educated population is beneficial for all. This is a tired old argument and it's quite sad really.

Anonymous said...

We don't have a well educated population, I want a refund.

Anonymous said...

It's easy enough not to pay into the system. Sell your house and rent. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

How about just demanding value for money!

If we are going to pay the district $13,000 a kid, they should educate them!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:27,

Fuzzy math is being used here. The actual educated related costs are much lower than $13K.

Anonymous said...

The fuzzy math is excluding some of the money we pay, by calling the "educational related costs" What is the rest of the money called?

Anonymous said...

From the school district website;

2009 budget: $60,628,376.00

population in district: 4496 kids

$60,628,376.00/ 4496=

$13,484.96/ kids

Anonymous said...

To March 11, 2009 4:02PM

Same with families who do not even use the Timberlane school system. They are paying twice!

Anonymous said...

That is there perogative not to use the public school system. Why should anyone feel sorry for them for having to pay their taxes like every other property owner? Social Security says that when I retire only 78% of the benefits will be available if no changes are made. Does that mean I should get a 22% refund for what I've paid in? These statements are ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Its because the school system and all that it represents is broken

Anonymous said...

I personally don't like the school <- welfare <- property tax deal.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously comparing public schools to welfare rolls??? Now I've heard it all. Good grief. I don't see what the problem with the school system is. If kids are failing, it's most likely because their parents are failing them, not the school system. Too many parents think the schools are a glorified daycare and that they don't need to be involved in their childrens education. This is just wrong. A strong support system at home is crucial to a childs success. Children are more than tax deductions. Stay involved and help them grow. You'll be amazed if you do.

Anonymous said...

I did not compare public schools to welfare rolls.

The property taxes are welfare towards school tuition that parents should be paying for their own kids.

Anonymous said...

The parents that are unhappy with the school system are the ones that are involved! These parents want the school to do their job; teach and educate our children. It's so much easier to blame the parents than expect high performance from our teachers.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:46,

Why do the schools always blame their failings on the parents?

Does an oncologist who fails to surgically remove the cancer blame it on the patient, or his parents?

Timberlane hs a weak curriculum, and the middle school passes kids along who fail, Mr. Hogan says "they will catch it up in high school"

But it is all the parents fault, of course.

My mom and dad didn't have to sit with me every night to help me with my homework, my parents did not have to go into the school to help them educate me. My parents both worked, and I turned out fine.

Quit making excuses.

Anonymous said...

Excuses? I'm a parent and I've seen parents who are involved and their kids excel and parents who aren't and their kids fail and get into trouble. Do we sit with them every night? No, but we certainly keep abreast of what they are up to and we help them when they do struggle. You get out of it what you put in. And no, I'm not part of the school system.

Anonymous said...

My question s are: Why was Atkinson the only town in district to pass the school budget, and why did they even pass it so overwhelmingly?

With their ote, you'd think the message from Atkinson is that everything's hunky-dorry in the schools. We parents should have sent the message that Administration can't try social experiments like block scheduling and non-leveled classes on our kids.

Anonymous said...

Because only Atkinson parents believe the tripe that it is all the parents fault and the schools are wonderful

Anonymous said...

Whoever who have thought that Atkinson would have such low standards. I guess you would continue to support a school system if you have such low expectations. What a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

There are 80 High Schools in NH. In 2007, Timberlane ranked 59th.

http://www.schooldigger.com/go/NH/schoolrank.aspx?level=3

As a district, Timberlane ranked 48 out of 160.

http://www.schooldigger.com/go/NH/districtrank.aspx?finddistrict=06720

Certainly as a district, the numbers aren't bad, but the high school needs work. So the question is, what's the fix?

LongTimeRes said...

Having gone there myself many may years ago and seeing my kids graduate from there I think that the Atkinson Academy is a great school and managed well. The HS and middle school I am not sure about. The HS was always in need of some process to enable students more. And they have to do a hell of a lot more to clean up the drugs and booz that is so prevalent there. Dont think your kids are not doing it. I am shocked at some of the kids in middle and HS that do it now. My kids tell me so and so did this and I cant believe it. But anyway, I digress. I also did not vote for the budget. I would like to see a better plan at the district level of how the funds will create a return on investment. ie..Better grades and clean kids..