Letter in Daily Local News, 10/22/17, from WCASD superintendent Jim Scanlon
As a supporter of our public schools and the belief that every American child deserves the right to a quality public education, I’m writing to ask for your action at the polls regarding a legislative proposal that could seriously impact the quality of our schools.
Many educators are very concerned about a November 7 ballot question that asks whether the Pennsylvania Constitution should be amended to allow local taxing authorities to exempt homeowners from paying property taxes. We strongly feel the answer to this question should be “NO.”
This ballot question doesn’t include the critical piece of information that according to state law, another source of revenue must be created to replace local property taxes. Legislators are considering that the new revenue source could come from increases in other taxes, in the form of Senate Bill 76. Under SB 76, Income Tax will go up from 3.07% currently to 4.95%, sales tax will go from 6% to 7% and the list of items to be taxed would increase. Those new revenue sources would go directly to the state, and it would be up to the state to determine how much each school district would receive.
This means that under this new funding formula, the state could decide to give more money to urban districts and less to suburban ones, like West Chester. Or, they could determine another complicated funding formula that would once again leave funding up to the state and take away our local control.
Harrisburg struggles to balance its own budget. The General Assembly currently doesn’t have a revenue budget for the current year. How can we leave our own school funding up to them?…
keep reading at Daily Local News. See also downloadable statement at WCASD. The WCASD School Board voted 8-0 on Oct. 23 to recommend a No vote. We need to protect ourselves against more budget antics in H’burg, where months ago the R majority passed an unfunded budget. You can’t just hope money will appear from somewhere!
By Candice Monhollan, Daily Local News, 8/29/15
UPPER PROVIDENCE >> Almost two months into the state budget impasse, with no end currently in sight, schools and Pre-K classrooms are getting ready to welcome students to the 2015-16 year.
Unfortunately, that welcome comes with a strained smile as the impasse threatens many programs and puts a large toll on school districts across the Commonwealth.
“We typically receive the first of our subsidy payments in August, but that date has come and done,” said West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon. “Because we only receive about 15 percent of our funding from the state, we are still in pretty good shape to start the school year.”
Though the district will have no trouble opening Aug. 31, the impasse does hit it in regards to charter schools.
“There has been an impact to our charter school payments as we were expected to make those payments in August,” Scanlon said. “Without state funding, we withheld those payments, but we received work last week that the state will deduct payments from our tax-relief allocation, which we were supposed to receive this week.”
Charter schools will cost the district roughly $9.1 million during the 2015-16 school year.
“The state will be deducting the past month’s payments from our subsidy,” Scanlon said. “If all charters applied for the deduction, we will be paying one month’s worth of charter school payments from that $1.8 million in tax-relief funding, or approximately $758,000.”…
read more at Daily Local News
Despite some conservative opposition, a new 3-region voting plan passed tonight by the West Chester Area School Board (WCASB). With one director absent, the final vote is 6-2 in favor of the map below.
The Borough of West Chester (purple) is in the new Region 1, along with most of West Goshen. If approved by our courts, our local voters will have greater input in selecting board directors who represent us.
No longer will just a few municipalities —or one party— control school board elections. More importantly, communication between board directors and their constituents becomes closer and directors become more responsive to residents.
Although not a Democratic Party initiative, we think this is a progressive step by our current board directors. Join us in giving them our thanks by contacting the Board.
New West Chester Area School District Regional Map (click map to enlarge)
You must be logged in to post a comment.