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Author Topic: A Concerned Corbett Taxpayer's Evaluation: "Right Sizing" of CSD  (Read 7313 times)
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« on: April 12, 2015, 10:27:47 AM »

Someone who attended the NEMCCA GRANGE GET TO KNOW YOUR CANDIDATE FORUM ON APRIL 7th asked to have the below posted to start a conversation.

Subject: "Right Sizing" the Corbett School System

The Corbett School Board candidate forum on April 7th was both enlightening and disheartening to this Corbett Taxpayer. The public's questions highlighted the current void between the School Board and many residents living within the Corbett community.  The opening forum question really defined the current state of those relations.  To paraphrase the question -- Recent bond elections have demonstrated that a majority of Corbett Taxpayer have lost confidence in the School Board's ability to address critical issues and to hold both the Administration and themselves accountable for their actions.  If elected, what specific actions will you take to regain the trust and confidence of the Corbett Taxpayers?   While answers varied between the candidates, I don't remember any candidate disagreeing with the premise of the question!
As a Community we must correct this situation.  As a logical first step forward, I suggest the Corbett School Board and Administration implement a clean sheet of paper approach to baseline where we, as a Community, are today, to define an achievable vision for the future of the Corbett School System, and finally, to determine how this vision can be met with the involvement and support of all Corbett Taxpayers.  
I offer the following "go forward" strategy for the Board's and the Community's consideration.          
Step 1
Analyze the "in district" demographics -- look at population changes over the last ten years as compared to today's population and develop growth projections for the next ten years.  Keep in mind that Corbett has an aging population.  Gather inputs from other community utility and service providers on what growth they have seen over the last ten years and are projecting for the future -- water, fire, power, telephone, cable, etc..  Survey the Board of Realtors for trends in local housing starts, sales, rentals, and assess housing affordability.  Are some being priced out of the Corbett housing market today or in the future?            
Step 2
Conduct an "independent" facility assessment of the current campus plant.  This assessment should define all existing usable spaces, the viability of building layouts, and all associated support facilities.  Facility assessment should also assess the existing condition of each facility and it's supporting infrastructure.  Planned, funded, and ongoing capital improvements and maintenance actions should be included.  Finally, this assessment provides the foundation for an updated "Facilities Master Plan" which should be used to guide all capital improvement decisions for at least the next ten years.  This Master Plan should be made available for public review and comment before it is finalized.        
Step 3
Based on results of the facility assessment determine the number of students the "current" facility can support.  This assessment must be done using acceptable State and/or National guidelines which are defendable not some "in a perfect world" dream number or one individual's personal vision.              
Step 4
Compare the results of Step 1 and Step 3 to establish a true, "annualized in state" support baseline for both the current year and for a ten year growth projection.  If you find the current facilities can support the anticipated "in district" population growth for the next ten years then define associated facility and maintenance improvements that must to be made under the "Facilities Master Plan"  The results of this step provides a base line for discussions with the Corbett Taxpayer Community and for future Budget Committee deliberations.
Step 5
If the "current" facilities are assessed to be able to support additional "out of district" students then define that number utilizing the same metrics used in Step 3.  At this point the district can make a logical (and supportable) decision as to how many additional students they are willing to accept now and determine how those additional slots will be allocated - first come, first served, lottery, etc.
This five step process will "right size" the existing school structure to it's "current maximum capacity" and provide an updated facility master plan for the future which can be prioritized based on capital outlay availability.  The facility master plan should also be used annually by the budget committee to assess Administration budget requests and to make logical trades both within individual budget categories and/or across categories.
Step 6
If the "Corbett Community as a Whole" desires to grow the school beyond it's existing capability then there must be a separate study conducted which will define a series of growth options (example adding 100, 200, or 300 additional students) and determine the accompanying actions for meeting each number.  Each option must address (1) an achievable point in time when the facility could be expanded, (2) a timeline for changes required to achieve each expansion option including personnel, and (3) a funding plan required to both maintain the current facility and at the same time, grow the facility to meet each desired option.
Once the results of these studies are determined the School Board can have a logical discussion with the Corbett Taxpayers and present options for their consideration which are both well defined and defendable.  While the elected School Board approves the growth and budgeting decisions, the Corbett Taxpayer must ultimately agree and provide the necessary funding.

A Concerned Corbett Taxpayer

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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 07:05:51 PM »

Stephen wrote a brief blog post about this:
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