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MNSD Needs to Pass Budget That Will Enhance Educational Programs

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by a Broomall resident and Marple Newtown parent, urging the School Board to pass a budget next week that will enhance educational programs in the district.

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by a Broomall resident.

Dear Editor:

The Marple Newtown School District is at a critical point in charting the path forward for the quality of education that is provided to the children or our community. Budget discussions are underway that can make a difference between preserving programs that currently exist and adding programs that will enhance student achievement, or facing potential cuts.

I’ve been attending School Board meetings for three years. I’ve seen the steady chipping away of programs and services.  Whether you call them “cuts” or “reduction” in services or what are almost “hidden” losses, I see that class sizes are growing, early intervention programs have been curtailed, and enrichment programs like field trips and visiting authors have all but disappeared.

We will not have a competitive school district if we continue this slide. Hundreds of community members turned out to a meeting in the fall to express their concerns. People do not want to see us become a district without exceptional academic programs, leading libraries and technology, and well-balanced extracurriculars.

Whether or not you currently have children in Marple Newtown schools, the public school system is the single greatest asset that we have to raise our property values, keep our community vibrant, and most importantly, to provide a quality education to the 3,500 kids enrolled in the district. At this relatively early stage in the budget process, with so many factors still unknown, the only responsible path is to keep the budget moving forward with all options open. 

People flee neighborhoods with deteriorating schools. I don’t want to see that happen in Broomall and Newtown Square. I encourage community members to attend the voting meeting on February 12 at 6 p.m. or contact the School Board and ask them to keep Marple Newtown schools strong by passing a budget that will enhance educational programs. The need is great and the stakes for all of us are too high.

Sincerely,

Ellen Trantas
Broomall

Michelle Montgomery February 07, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Well said, and agree 100%. Every home owner and parent is invested in the outcomes of school board decisions. The schools reflect on the neighborhoods and set the tone for the community. Let's get it right and do our best for the schools.
Ken February 07, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Yes. The multi-year high school and administrative building upgrades are less important to my children than excellent instruction and appropriate interventions for special education, a strong, diverse academic program, and a commitment to not only STEM but arts and culture.
Boot Road Resident February 07, 2013 at 06:37 PM
I appreciate Ellen’s passion in regards to our district and she makes a valid point about an attractive school district increasing property values. Our district does not have exceptional academic programs. All rankings and published test scores clearly indicate we are middle of the pack. Our per student spending ($10,461) and class sizes (14:1) are equal if not better than districts that are performing much better than Marple Newtown. The budget is not being cut. It continues to go up with the exception of last year where it remained flat but all indications are it is not going to remain flat this year. My two cents – you cannot keep raising our taxes. This year, our county taxes, township taxes (Newtown), and school district taxes are all going up but most people’s salaries are not keeping pace. So, where does the money come from - for me it means less retirement savings and college tuition savings. The current system needs to be reformed now and until it does academic and enhancement programs will continue to be cut while the budget will keep growing and our taxes will keep going up.
Laurie February 07, 2013 at 10:57 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Boot Road Resident. I am facing the same problems. My taxes have increased every year and I have not had a raise in 5 years! Wages are frozen, companies don't have the capital to invest in their businesses and hire more employees, the list goes on. I am a graduate of the MN School system (APT) program and received a top notch education and am saddened to see that MNSD is in the middle of the pack. We used to be near the top when I graduated. I agree with Ken, too. Both of you have said it best.
John K February 08, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Good School District = High property value!! Do what is right for our kids. Keep politics out of education!!
Sherryl Hughes February 11, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Agree with the sentiments expressed by John K and Ken. We have 3 children who went through MNHS in ATP - I was dismayed to see that MNHS SAT scores and National Merit semi finalist were lower and less than neighboring Radnor SD. I think programs should be expanded in the district and academic achievement stressed. I do not regret one cent paid in school taxes - and if taxes have to be increased to increase SAT scores etc by hiring better teachers - so be it (and we are retired and our income is fairly fixed). U.S. students are behind many foreign students in math skills etc, - thus the future of the U.S. is dependent upon educating our youth.

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