Wednesday, August 16, 2006

NACS, one high school or two

I attended the meeting last night that the Remonstrators hosted. It was very informative and I am glad I attended. I sat with William Larsen and we talked about the large problems with the feasibility study NACS created...

I plan on helping with the Remonstrance.

There is no doubt in my mind that building a second High School will be cheaper and more effective in the long run. I will post a lot more on this in the next few days.

Bill Mallers (NACS Business Manager) has given me a lot of information that I am processing...

Expect a detailed study from me in the next few days...

Please check out the Northwest Education Supporters Website:
<http://www.northwesteducationsupporters.com/>

Mike Sylvester

5 comments:

Concerned CHS Graduate said...

Its really humerous that these people are collectively called the "REMONSTRATORS". They sound like a lamer version of the Fantastic Four or the X-men.

I find it even more hilarious that people actually think the whole fight is an "...either...or..." battle. Many assume there will be either the school board's plan or that of the remonstrators.

The true "...either...or..." situation is "either" the school board wins the remonstration and the expansion goes through "or" there is a moratorium on all building projects for a year at CHS, and the school board can will make another proposal in 365 days. With the unity the board has about this project (and I would surmise that Mrs. Wysong agrees with the board's original proposal prior to her election), the battle the remonstrators is fighting is even more asinine than their wimpy name.

William Larsen said...

concerned chs graduate thinks that taxpayers should not question the school board at that their position to question (remonstrative) is "asinine." Would you please identify what the taxpayers should do in this case?

Bend over and take it up the backside even though they disagree?

Collect petitions and find out exactly how much support there is for the renovation?

Surrender, never knowing if they were in the majority or minority?

Keep in mind that if those opposed to the renovation have enough signatures and I am talking about 11,000, I would venture to guess the school board would not be quick to bring this up for a vote, though it is up to them. I would venture a guess that the board would study both proposals a bit more.

Today with computers, once you identify your support base, it is pretty easy to contact this support base a second time.

Do you support the renovation and if so, why?

LP Mike Sylvester said...

There is no doubt in my mind that the School Board will QUICKLY change its mind if they lose the petition drive...

They may not agree to build a second high school; however, they will have to go and look at the false assumptions in their "feasibility study" and they will have to correct their cost estimates.

Mike Sylvester

concerned chs graduate said...

I propose an alternative. It may not serve the current purpose of expansion right now, but it could ensure that a problem such as this would not happen again.

many expanding school districts around the country have the exact same problems the NACS board is grappling with. The new homes being built cause a population growth that current school buildings cannot deal with. It is these new families that put the finanical burden on the current residents of the school district.

Why not shift the burden to those that are causing the need for a greater acquisiton of funds. I propose that those with the legislative power in this area impose a tax comperable to the value of the new home.

The positive effects would be twofold - it would provide the financial means necessary to keep up with the near continuous building without burdening the current residents of the district and possibly function as a deterrant for such rapid expansion (which wouldnt be a bad thing).

This doesnt solve the current problem between the board and the superhero's known as the "Remonstrators", but it could work as a possible solution to the expansion problem.

William Larsen said...

concerned graduate wrote "The new homes being built cause a population growth that current school buildings cannot deal with. It is these new families that put the finanical burden on the current residents of the school district."

This is good, but you need to understand how the school system works. The school gets revenue from three sources:
Federal about $800 per student
State (80% of its funding)
County property tax (20% of its funding)

The county property tax is set by the amount of revenue that is needed to be raised. The tax rate is calculated based on the total assessed property within the school district.

As more homes are built, the assessed tax base is increased. This means those moving into the school district are paying taxes that will go to the district, but were not planned on being used. In simple terms, excess revenue. However, property taxes are paid in arrears, which means one year after they were assessed.

Instead of setting aside the increased revenue generated by new construction into a building fund, the school board spends it. Now they do this either to maintain its states level of support or it does it because it can. I do not know which.

However, it is financially necessary as well as prudent to have a building fund with actuarially calculated costs so that each year the correct amount of support (taxes) are being assessed and set aside for things such as new construction, maintenance and pensions.

There is not an expansion problem. What we have is a lack of planning. When you look at the data on individual schools and the growth since 1989, there is no doubt that NACS is growing and has been at 5% per year or better for the past ten years. What is also very clear is the ratio of students in elementary, middle and high schools maintain a nearly perfect ratio to total students since 1989. This is very important in that as you have an increase in overall students, you have proportional increases in all three categories.

If we need a new capacity to handle 2,800 high school students, then we also need a new middle school and an elementary as well. What is the best mixture of schools? The renovation was misleading in that it consumed a perfectly good middle school and made it an academy at no cost. However, there is a cost $30 million. The renovation did not include $5 to $6 million to move the football stadium. In addition the new high school proposal included a new natatorium and $20 million for Carroll’s Heating and AC as well as technology upgrade.

The remonstrative is more about accurate numbers. What is the cost of renovation and what is the cost of building a new school. We all know what happened with Enron. The NACS board is using Enron style accounting and it is bad for the taxpayers.