Objection To Pottstown Elementary Plan Focuses On High Street Crossing

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Few objections were raised Thursday night when the official redistricting plan for elementary school attendance was unveiled, but the one that was focused on the safety of students crossing High Street.

“I think rather than throwing our children under the bus, we should put them on a bus and come up with a better transportation plan,” said North Hills Boulevard resident Madison Morton.

The only speaker on the subject of redistricting at Thursday night’s public meeting, Morton has a child that currently attends Edgewood Elementary and he is unhappy about the possibility that his daughter’s trip to Rupert Elementary may involve crossing High Street.

Currently, High Street is considered by PennDOT to be a hazardous road similar to Route 100 and, as a result, the district must bus students across it.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130223/NEWS01/130229714/objection-to-pottstown-elementary-plan-focuses-on-high-street-crossing#full_story

Evidently Stupid Is As Stupid Does In Pottstown

Despite the enormous amount of time and effort put forth by the Task Force and the cross-section of people who were involved in the process; the Pottstown Hyltonville School District Board of Education has voted to maintain five old elementary school buildings in light of the fact that:  a. Hyltonville cannot afford them and b. in the long run taxes will increase more by doing nothing.

Great job!  Not!

Many thanks to the Task Force for their hard work and many thanks to the four forward-thinking school board directors (Huss, Hartman, Pargeon, Weand) who voted NO to this giant step backward.  Watch how many homes go up for sale now!

Please keep in mind the five school board directors (Harris, Hylton, Wausnock, White, Wilson) who voted for this stick your head in the sand “plan” so when your taxes spiral even further out of control you’ll remember who to blame!  In case you forget, I’ll remind you when the times comes.

Two gigantic Roy’s Rants thumbs down and a cyber raspberry.

Pottstown Pennsylvania – The Land That Time Forgot

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Evidently we live in a time warp in Pottstown.  Forward momentum and progress are alien concepts here.  Instead we prefer to stick our heads in the sand, cling to the past (and our favorite elementary school) and refuse to look at the grim reality that lies ahead.

Pottstown School District and Pottstown Borough cannot afford to continue to operate in “Leave It To Beaver” mode any longer.  There are serious financial challenges that lie ahead and they need to be addressed in creative and thoughtful ways.  Instead, we have people like Responsible Tom who are trying to push Pottstown back into the 1950’s.

In case nobody has paid attention, the world has changed drastically from the days of Laverne, Shirley and the Fonz (whoa).  People have different expectations these days.   Parents want modern schools with state of the art technology for their children’s education – or at least the middle class, home owning families we are “supposedly” trying to attract to stabilize our tax base do.

Fixing up five old buildings will leave us with five temporarily fixed up old buildings.  Down the road, this problem will have to be painfully addressed again.

The Task Force spent a long time pouring over information.  A variety of people, from all facets of Pottstown life, were included on the Task Force to make sure there would be good representation from all segments of the community.  Now the Task Force has reached their decision and we want to totally invalidate the time and effort they put into this project because some people do not like the outcome.

Progress and change are not easy.  It is painful for many people.  However, for this community to survive and prosper, change must happen.  We can NOT please everyone nor should we try to.  However, in this land that time forgot, where a tiny fraction of the public votes, attends school board or borough council meetings, we continue to delay the inevitable reality that irresponsible spending will only continue to compound our already tenuous financial position.

We need to run the borough and the school district like businesses and stop spending money we do not have before the financial bottom falls out of everything.  If you can’t afford something at home, you don’t buy it.  The same should hold true with spending taxpayer’s money.  We have champagne taste and a beer pocketbook here in Hyltonville.  It’s about time we snap into reality.  Somebody needs to bite the bullet and “let go” of something so that the entire community can move forward.  Until that time comes, Pottstown will be “the land that time forgot”

I leave you with a story.

The Child and the Filberts

A child (taxpayer) put their hand into a pitcher full of filberts (elementary schools). They grasped as many as they could hold (5), but when they tried to pull out their hand, they were prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher (bank account). Unwilling to lose their filberts (elementary schools), and yet unable to withdraw their hand, the child burst into tears and bitterly lamented their disappointment. A bystander said to the child, “Be satisfied with half the quantity (elementary schools), and you will readily draw out your hand.”

Norristown Area School District Faces Huge Deficit And Tax Hike

The Norristown Area School District is staring into an almost $6 million dollar budget hole.  They need to cut, cut, cut AND increase taxes.  The district is looking to outsource some in-house functions, layoff 15 teachers, freeze wages and raise taxes to keep the district on a level playing field.

If the cost cutting measures are implemented by the board, district homeowners still face a 2.17 percent tax increase.  The increase comes to $83 a year in additional tax for the average homeowner.

The Norristown Area School District has six elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools (one is an alternative high school).  There are 6,727 students.  The district spends $14,075 per pupil and has 12 students for every full-time equivalent teacher.  In 2008 the dropout rate was 5 percent, 22 percent of students have an IEP and 10 percent of students are ELL.  Data from Wikipedia and Education.com

Just a NOTE for 222 Chestnut Street aka Mount Olympus.  Norristown has twice as many students as Pottstown but only has one more elementary school.  Plus NASD covers Norristown Borough along with East and West Norriton Townships, so their district is far more spread out.

The elephant in the room – why does “Responsible Tom” feel we need to have five elementary schools in Pottstown when THREE would be sufficient???  Yet the plaid one has the chutzpah to wag his glossy finger at others and call them “big spenders” while advocating keeping two schools open that we do not need and cannot afford.  And please do not forget Mr. Hylton’s push to put in pretty windows and geothermal heating on top of keeping five elementary schools open.