Corbett Community Forum

Corbett Community Board => Corbett Schools => Topic started by: on September 10, 2010, 11:22:03 AM

Title: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: on September 10, 2010, 11:22:03 AM
The Corbett School District Board will place a local operating levy for $600,000 per year over five years, starting in 2011, on the Nov. 2 ballot. You can read the story in the Outlook Online here: (

There was an informational meeting on Tuesday, September 14th 7:00-8:30 P.M.MPB.
The School Board and Superintendent Trani hosted a Community Information Night on Tuesday September 14th at 7:00-8:30 P.M. in the MPB regarding the District’s 2010-2011 budget and the upcoming operating levy on the November ballot.  They discussed the anticipated budget shortfalls and their ramifications. To view the power point slide show presented please visit: (


For contact information for the Corbett School District visit this link: (

Latest News Piece here: (

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: towseyfrench on October 20, 2010, 10:04:55 AM
I've posted a short article linking to a list of the potential cuts that may have to be enacted should the levy fail:

Please feel free to pass this link on. Whatever your vote, please exercise your right and vote!

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: breezy on December 09, 2010, 01:33:19 PM
I have been doing some research about how other districts in our area (especially small districts) have been making ends meet without drastic cuts to their programs. This is what I have come up with.

Riverdale  – a small (smaller then Corbett now) exceptional public school district in Portland. The Community pays for Bonds and Levy's AND they charge tuition to students who do not live within the District Boundaries. Seems like a fair way to spread the financial burden. They are ONE school. No Charter classroom here District Classroom there- AND it remains SMALL. There is a BENNIFIT to living within the district boundaries. Their district students get to have the small exceptional school experience and they are VESTED in their school and community because of it. Out of district students pay for the same benefits and get to “dip into” this special community without actually living there. They retain the elected school board to REPRESENT THEIR COMMUNITY. 2011 – 2012 TUITION RATE for out of district students at Riverdale : $5,560 (1/2 day kindergarten), $11,120 (Grades 1-4),  $11,500 (for Grades 5-8), $11,950 for grades 9-12

Lake Oswego – obviously a much larger district ALSO charges their out of district students a tuition fee unless those students can get their out of district transfer approved from their home district.  2010 -2011 TUITION RATE for out of district students at Lake Oswego: $3,250 (1/2 day kindergarten), $6,500 (Grades 1-12)

Some simple math $430,000 the amount the Charter school is contracted to pay CSD. Divide that by 350 (the # of Charter students allowed) and you get $1,228 - this is the amount CSD receives from each charter student. If you subtract the COST an extra 350 students has on our district this number is considerably less.

IF we charged $6140 tuition for out of district students (less than the above 2 schools) it would only take 70 tuition students to bring in the same amount of money as 350 charter students. 
Now, I don’t really like the idea of charging students to come to our school and IF they could get their Out of District transfer papers from their home districts – they shouldn't have to pay tuition. BUT why should Corbett School District and the Corbett Community shoulder the extra work, headache, traffic and dysfunction to have a charter school (and possibly 2 charter schools???) when a simple tuition fee could easily solve the problem OR motivate people to MOVE to Corbett and become INVESTED in the community that their children's school is setting. This would ALSO keep our school SMALL which is why I moved to Corbett in the first place. It would also make us ONE school. Which I ABSOLUTLY prefer.

This would also motivate Out of District parents to fight the "No transfer requests granted” on their own instead of our district fighting that battle for them.  If other districts granted these request we wouldn't have this problem.

Title: Apples to Apples numbers and other thoughts on my last post
Post by: breezy on December 10, 2010, 01:11:23 PM
I contacted Riverdale and requested an information packet which showed their tuition rates. A packet, similar to a private school or college brochure was sent to me. They are obviously reaping the rewards of being a high achieving school if they can get almost $12,000 per year for each tuition paying high school student. The Lake Oswego info was collected off of their school web site..

Also, I am sure both of these communities is more likely to vote for Bonds or Levy’s when they know the out of district students are contributing as well. Along with a lack of trust for the district, this is one of the reason’s many Corbett people didn’t vote for the last Levy. When you consider that over 1/3 of the students in our school do not live here and do not contribute to the levy I can see their point. If this next Charter School goes through, the number of out of district students could exceed the number of in-district students. I am quite certain it will be next to impossible to pass a bond or levy at this point.

I got the $430,000 number off Mr.Trani’s power point slide show (see above link).  This is “bottom line #” what CSD collects in Rent and Office Support from the Charter. Any other money the charter may or may not give to our district is not contractual and shouldn’t be counted on.

I am guessing that each Charter teacher costs an average of about $75,000. This should include PERS and insurance.  If you divide that by 25 (the number of students in a charter class) you get $3,000 per student to pay for their teacher. (This number is lower for our district since our class sizes are higher). You add the $1,228 that each student gives to our district in rent (A LOT is included in this RENT that comes out of the district pocket) and you have a grand total of $4,228. Anything extra is money for the Charter School to spend. The charter school had enough money to give their teachers raises, the district did not. The Charter school pays for their own administrator. An unneeded expense if these students were in the district.
NOW if these students were Transfer or Tuition students they would be a part of CSD. YEA!  They wouldn’t be separated. The money would be put into ONE pot. If class sizes went up – EVERYONE’s class size would go up. The community would be more likely to pass bonds or levys knowing these students are contributing extra money as well. Our school would stay small.

If a tuition student paid $6140 and you subtract $3,000 of that for the cost of the teacher you are left with $3,140 per student.  Therefore it would take 136 tuition students to make the $430,000 that 350 charter students brings in.  136 extra students sounds much MUCH better to me then 350 students (for the SAME benefit) and possibly 650 charter students??? Not to mention the fact that 650 MORE students in our hallways will add to CSD operating costs (think septic system).  I see this as a win- win. Parents who want to send their children to Corbett School District get to do just that, not the charter school which is a completely different school. The community wouldn’t be struggling with a identity crises.

This all started with Mr. Dunton’s idea to save the 170 Transfer students that CSD was supposed to lose to their home district 2 years ago. Just think if Mr. Dunton would have used a little diplomacy at that time to work a deal with the other districts. An agreement to keep the 170 transfer students we had. Instead he finds a way (the charter school) to glean twice that number of students from the other districts. Possibly, soon, 7 times that original number.  I agree with that quote I read how sometimes progress means turning around and starting over.

These numbers are my best estimate based on the information I've come up with on my own. I would love to hear other thoughts. Here is another # to ponder. If we had 350 transfer/tuition students at $6,000 that would generate $2,100,000

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: stongeastwind on December 11, 2010, 08:06:58 PM
GO BREEZY!  The truth is hard to fight when looking at balance sheets and the administration needs to work on behalf of their true employer--- the students of Corbett.

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: towseyfrench on December 14, 2010, 09:28:42 AM
I very much appreciate breezy's thoughtful efforts to look at a possible solution that many of us might not know much about. I also very much appreciate Superintendent Trani helping dissect this potential solution and provide excellent perspective in his letter published today:

This is the type of partnership that a school and its community should have and I hope that we can continue to work together to implement the best plan for our students. Thanks to everyone for inspiring us all to continue working together to find the best methods to sustain our schools.

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: breezy on December 15, 2010, 09:04:43 AM
The elephant in the room.
Mr. Dunton only teaches part time. Yet he pays himself more then double what a top of the payscale teacher makes. We could have 2 - 2.5 teachers in his place. This skimming of funds, in my opinion is gross negligence of public money.

This salary difference means that Mr. Trani's numbers are off. (See above link that Towseyfrench posted)I said charter teachers make an average of $75,000 not closer to $200,000.
Even so, I am glad to see Mr.Trani's Numbers and mine weren't that far off. I find this very hopeful.

Title: Re: School Levy for $600,000 per year over five years on the Nov Ballot...
Post by: Wondering on December 15, 2010, 11:13:24 AM
As a current Portlander hoping to move my family to Corbett, both for the rural community and the schools, I have been closely watching the school funding issue over the last several months.  Compared to what is available for our kids in inner-Portland, Corbett seems to have so much to offer although we have currently put our search for housing there on hold until we have a clearer picture of the school situation.

I would encourage anyone reading about the tuition-charging idea to definitely read Dr. Trani's letter in response, posted by towseyfrench.  Living in Portland, it is well-known that Riverdale and Lake Oswego are the wealthiest districts around, and their schools offer numerous programs including multiple foreign languages, advanced technology and art programs, extensive electives as well as strong academic core courses.  The depth of their programs, and their proximity to other wealthy areas of Portland, is such that they are able to draw in out-of-district families willing to pay a tuition price that, while expensive, is far below the price of private school.  Although Corbett is a strong school with a lot of progressive ideas, comparing Corbett to Riverdale is essentially apples to oranges.

However, just this morning on NPR there was a short story about a rural school district in New York that is saving their school by recruiting international students, with much success for all involved.  Here is the link to the story: ( The combination of Corbett's location in one of the most scenic areas of the country and the proximity to urban experiences in Portland seems like something that would be appealing to international students.

Title: Thoughts on Mr. Trani's letter
Post by: breezy on December 16, 2010, 09:54:05 AM
Why hasn’t CSD advertised that we accept tuition students? Check out Lake Oswego’s web site  they make it very easy to fill out transfer papers and tuition applications. I know there are a few members on the school board (Maureen and Charlie) who only want to make the Charter School bigger. Why is that? According to Mr.Trani’s Numbers it would take 168 students paying $6140 tuition in order to completely make up for what it takes 350 charter students.  CSD receives less than half of the money from a charter student as we would from a transfer or tuition student.

Why isn’t CSD benefiting from our good reputation? Only the Charter School is benefiting.  It seems the AP courses alone (all paid for) and the potential to have some college paid for would bring tuition paying students out.  Also, advertise that we accept transfer students. This would bring our district more money per student then the Charter School, AND keep our school small. Our size is our best asset, and something you can’t get anywhere around here. Where else can your children attend school  k-12 on the same beautiful campus?

Riverdale serves 600 students. 101.5 of those students pay close to $12,000 per year. They also have an agreement with the surrounding districts to allow a certain # of transfer students in.  This agreement is something Corbett doesn’t have in place yet, but should. I am sure other districts would prefer to allow 50 of their students to transfer then to lose 100’s if we opened another Charter school.

I think $10,000 tuition(Corbett’s current tuition rate) is too high. Corbett should lower it to be much closer to the actual amount that we would receive if they were a district student.
I appreciate Mr.Trani’s thoughtful and respectful reply to my post.
To Wondering: Funny you should bring up international students. I noticed Riverdale also invites international students and charges them around $16,000