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Sharing Info From An Activist In The School System AGAINST Consolidations

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Admin

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Admin
I think these are very good points we need to consider and research further. If anyone has any conflicting information, please present it now. The information I have posted below are word of mouth only. Most importantly... We need ALL parents committed to keeping schools open to show up at the meeting this Friday, March 18th at 7:15 upstairs at the Collett Street Rec... mark you calendars!!

This affects YOU! Whether you are a parent in the BC school system, a resident in BC, an employee in BC, or all 3.…you will be affected by these decisions!

Please read and understand the severity of this situation. The school board has NOT DECIDED nor VOTED to CONSOLIDATE any schools.

There are rumors flying rampant because Dr. Stellar, against the recommendation of the school board, has been talking to many of the schools, and is presenting this in a "it's a done deal" and "here's why we HAVE to be positive about it" fashion! Yes, having a bigger, better, and newer classroom is appealing to these teachers, IF there were not so many other issues on the line. And that's exactly what he wants, the teachers on HIS side, to help persuade the parents. MANY teachers are AGAINST the consolidations, but CAN’T and WILL NOT speak up, because they do not want to lose their job! We NEED to be their VOICE!!! The school board DOES want to hear from the community and many/most of them do NOT want to close schools. BUT they want to hear from us, the parents and the community. I have researched many of the FACTS pertaining to this. There are MANY questions, concerns, and issues that need to be addressed to the board, BEFORE March 28, when they vote on this issue. March 24 is the public hearing, where Board Members WANT to hear from the community, BEFORE they vote!

There is also a very important community rally to be held this Friday March 18 at 7:15 upstairs at The Collett Street Rec.!!!!

You will hear FACTS and have an opportunity to ask questions, BEFORE March 24!! It is imperative that you put these 3 dates on your calendar, and attend!! PLEASE educate yourself on the FACTS of school consolidation.

This affects ALL of the schools (not just the schools being considered for consolidation). Your school, although it may stay “open” will be just as affected if 200-400 children are crammed in, in addition to the existing student population.

I will use certain schools as examples in this email, and it is ACTUAL examples, however, similar situations apply and will happen to ALL schools!

First and foremost, and you can ask any of the board members and they will confirm, if asked:

CLOSING SCHOOLS DOES NOT SAVE TEACHER’S JOBS!!!

Why? The only governmental entity who can save teacher jobs is the Legislature. At this point right now we do not know what the state will do budget wise, so we don't know how many teacher positions will be cut. But closing schools does not save teacher jobs, totally different source of money! Teachers and principals are paid out of STATE money not Capital Outlay, CO money is used for up keep of schools and can't be used for teacher pay. So when he says we have to close schools to save teacher jobs, it is not true because the money is not interlinked. The only way we can use this money for teachers, is for the county commissioners to allow that change. Historically, the one-cent sales tax money has been used for "maintenance and construction". The commissioners have not allowed that money to pay teachers. Some County Commissioners are hoping some schools will close so they can cut the amount of money they send to our schools! But very little county money is actually "saved" when a school closes. What money is "saved" gets spent on the additional utilities and transportation costs of the schools that remain open - especially if you have to add mobile units. Hillcrest had to add SEVEN mobile units to their campus to accommodate the Mountain View kids at a cost of over $200K! Those units use quite a bit of electricity and are not energy efficient. So, the yearly $36K we were spending on utilities at MV simply got shifted to Hillcrest. Little or no county money was "saved". And none of the “mythical $500K” that Administration says we saved when the school closed went to keep teachers.

STELLARS FIGURES AND ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH RESULTS ARE ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS!

None, I repeat, NONE of the numbers are ACTUAL! They are all “projections” and they are all manipulated! It reads “Projected Enrollment” on the report from the architectural group.

The enrollment numbers at each of the schools are understated.

The actual building capacity of each school is overstated.

What does this mean? In a nutshell, we are not operating at the “under capacity” percentage that he wants you to believe we are, but on paper, it APPEARS as if this is FACT. It is not.

So, when you look at our ACTUAL enrollment numbers, you will see that, consolidating ANY of the schools, will put the remaining schools operating at 99%-105%+ capacity!!!!! This is TOO crowded and NOT a conducive learning environment. At any school level, but ESPECIALLY at the Middle Schools which, as a result, WILL be the MOST CROWDED!!! Extremely unsafe!

According to NCDPI the most efficient use of space to “…offer excellent educational programs that include a comprehensive curriculum and offer the most efficient use of space and personnel at a reasonable cost per student” is

High Schools ranging from…………800 to 1,200 students

Middle Schools ranging from……....600 to 800 students

Elementary Schools ranging from…450 to 700 students

Every one of the consolidation options will put our schools ACTUAL attendance numbers above the maximum NCDPI recommendations.

One Example: Combining Forest Hill & Chesterfield and moving WJMS students to existing Middle Schools =

750-800+ students Elementary School

900-950+ students Liberty Middle

850-900+ students Table Rock

Is this the kind of school system we want in our community? People MOVE here because they desire the smaller school settings that we offer!!! That re-location population in our community will disappear! Others WILL move. This will have a devastating effect on our local commerce!!!!

MOST SCHOOLS ARE OPERATING AT OR ABOVE CAPACITY!!

There are only a few of the schools that are ACTUALLY operating under capacity.

There are SO many OTHER options to “evening out” the enrollment!! CLOSING schools is NOT the answer! One of these options is already underway:

With the inception of the “no transfer policy”, these numbers WILL even out more. With more children having to go to the school that’s in the district in which they live, you will see the overcrowded schools population, being dispersed into the under populated schools. Example: Many 7th and 8th graders at Liberty are in the WJMS district. They were “grandfathered in” to not have to attend WJMS this year or next. But with the no transfer policy implemented this year, we will see Liberty’s(overpopulated) enrollment decrease and WJMS’s(under populated) increase! This will take 2 years to see the full effect.

Same for FHES. There are many children at that school that are not in that district. This will take several years to see, but enrollment WILL decrease at FHES and increase into the correct schools.This will take 4 years to see the full effect.

Bottom line, COUNTYWIDE we ARE NOT operating at the under capacity percentage that the research makes it look like we are!!

ARE WE REALLY GOING TO LET AN OUTSIDER “SELL US” ON THIS DECISION, WITH MIS-INFORMATION AND SCARE TACTICS!?!?

Yes, the teachers and staff are SCARED to speak up! Their jobs are on the line, and they would be going against the very person who controls their employment. However, HE does not control us, the rest of the community! And frankly, our jobs could very well be on the line, if these changes take place. People WILL leave our county!!! Yes, people DO care that much about their children and their education! What will become of the little industry and businesses that we do have left when people start moving?

The people/schools/community in the EASTERN part of Burke have been speaking up and people ARE listening!! It is now time for this part of the county to JOIN them!!

PLEASE attend FRIDAY MARCH 18th upstairs at The Collett Street Rec.

Voice your opinion, ask questions, show support!!!

Schools, ALL schools, need to rally and SPEAK UP!! ALL schools! The school board NEEDS parental/community support in backing up this decision/vote. It IS time to speak up.


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