Thursday evening, we all attended the special session and we’re thankful for the information shared and the discussion that occurred. It is quite clear that it will take the entire North Penn School District community’s involvement, through collaboration and healthy discourse, to forge new solutions to the ongoing budget crisis.
The Republican-controlled board has had decades to prepare a proactive strategy. The structural deficit we face did not appear overnight, and it emanates from the same Republican political control of Harrisburg that has kicked the can down the road to our local doorsteps and pocketbooks. Our students haven’t been served by the same tired approach, and neither have taxpayers.
As a slate of highly qualified candidates dedicated to short and, equally important, long-term solutions, our commitment to fiscal responsibility and student success is reinforced by open communication, creativity and board accountability to our neighbors. This is how we will attain our vision for a successful path forward.
In contrast to what we learned at the special budget meeting, the following are essential differences our new leadership will bring to the district:
- We will be honest, transparent, and use independent data when explaining all decisions.
- Closer to 65% of the Act 1 increase will go to students since the bulk of the increase is for salaries to attract and retain the best teachers, contrary to the statement that only 20% of the Act 1 increase will go to students.
- No trickle-down financial burden from Harrisburg should fall on the shoulders of those neighbors least able to afford increases in taxes. We want to alleviate true hardship cases following programs instituted in other districts.
- We will balance the needs of the taxpayers along with the NPSD’s highest priority: quality education that is the foundation of a healthy, vibrant and thriving community.