North Penn is a district rich in talent, resources and manpower. We are one of the largest districts in the state. We must capitalize on our ability to influence state legislation by joining the Pennsylvania School Board Association. North Penn should be a leader in education reform. By not participating in the PSBA we marginalize our ability to shape the political process. North Penn Neighbors for Progress would like the state to reconsider high stakes testing and the manner in which it is used to evaluate student, teacher, school and district success. By partnering with other school districts, we amplify our message.
It is not enough for North Penn to rest on its laurels and not demonstrate its potential leadership. While 70% of districts in Montgomery County are now offering some level of full day Kindergarten, North Penn continues to short change our youngest students by not offering them an educational experience on par with their peers. The School Director has two priorities: enabling meaningful, engaging and cutting edge education in a safe school environment and acting as responsible stewards of the public’s investment in this initiative. Fiscal management of our schools is the only way to ensure North Penn remains one of the finest school districts in the state. That is why North Penn Neighbors for Progress believe sound investments need to be considered for the short term and long term needs of the district. All contracts for professional services should be bid upon, without any favorable treatment given to friends of the school board, and zero-based budgeting must be used to justify financial expenditures.
Dishonest suggestions that NPNP will increase your tax burden are unfounded. In 2006, Pennsylvania passed the Act I Index, which sets caps on the amount of revenue school districts can collect from local taxpayers. Since 2006, the Republican controlled board has raised taxes on local residents at or just below the index, nine out of ten times. As school directors North Penn Neighbors for Progress will make fiscally responsible decisions that will protect taxpayers interests. Full day kindergarten programs better prepare children for the rigors of today’s educational curriculums and expectations. By failing to initiate full day kindergarten programs, we risk losing ground to neighboring districts already making this crucial investment, now and in the future.