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"Troop 84 has a paper drive" every third Saturday of the month, weather permitting.
They will be picking up next to the water tower at Bartís Centenary Methodist Church on E. King St.

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Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
10:08 AM ET (US)
So they are raising taxes, claim they have no choice but are going to hire three new IT staff members? Bought a $73,000 airplane sculpture, $4-5,000,000 soccer field etc. etc.

Here is a novel idea, stop spending more money!
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
07:54 AM ET (US)
LASD preps to hike taxes

Times Staff Writer

A tax increase is on the horizon for Littlestown Area School District.

The school board discussed a possible 3.1 percent tax increase, the maximum allowed by the state, at its work session Monday.

A property assessed at the district average of approximately $189,000 would pay an additional $68 per year with the possible 0.3589-mill increase, according to LASD Business Manager Mike Statler.

Statler projects about $32.4 million in revenues and $32.7 million in expenses next year. The district will need to pull about $751,000 from its savings to balance the budget and meet technology proposals - approximately $337,600 from its fund balance to address "district priorities" and $413,400 from technology reserves for one-time technology expenses, Statler said.

The finance committee helped identify several "district priorities" for the budget and brought them to the board for discussion Monday. The priorities include hiring a technology integrator for the high school, an IT technician, and a software specialist, Statler said.

Other priorities are funding professional development in math, providing maintenance/transportation support, and funding extra-curriculars like soccer, track, or other activities at the middle school, according to Statler and Superintendent Chris Bigger.

Board member Melinda Jones asked for clarification of the three proposed staff positions.

Director of curriculum and technology Lori Stollar said the tech integrator would assist teachers, the software specialist would handle device databases and software, and the IT technician would work with the devices.

Board member Jennifer McClay voiced concern over what would happen to the tech integrator after they've "worked themselves out of a job" and integrated technology into the high school.

Bigger said this individual could fulfill a number of roles if they choose to continue working in the district. Hypothetically, this person could use their teaching degree to fill a teaching position or, if an assistant principal leaves, the tech integrator could become an assistant principal, Bigger said. He noted it is important the administration continue to have expertise in technology as staff come and go.

"We believe the tech integrator is the future of our future administrators, that's the future of what we see teaching and learning to be," Bigger said.

He emphasized the importance of having additional technology-focused staff to match the growing number of devices.

"When we put this commitment of devices in the teachers' hands, they need that support," Bigger said.

Board Vice President and finance committee member Randy Mosebrook said if these priorities are too much for the board's liking, they can go back and re-evaluate. The finance committee will discuss the budget further May 15 at 6 p.m. in the board room of Alloway Creek Elementary School. The meeting is open to the public.

Upgrades and savings

Also on the table are several one-time expenses to update technology, which would be funded by pulling money from technology reserves.

Updating access points and switches, servers, and Vmware, plus adding iPads to grades 10 through 12 and providing Macbooks to middle school teachers, would cost about $413,400. After taking this money from the technology reserves, the district would have about $200,000 left for future tech-related expenses, according to Statler.

In the wake of school shootings across the country, the district is also considering allocating funds for improved security. Statler is waiting for an exact number from the school safety committee on what these improvements could cost, but temporarily earmarked $100,000 for the project.

In total, tech updates, additional staff, and school safety improvements could leave Littlestown with a need to pull approximately $751,000 from reserve funds.

Over the past few months, the district has sought several cost-saving opportunities.

The district saved about $258,800 recently by leaving a vacated fifth grade teaching position unfilled, realigning driver's education (which is pending), experiencing tax base growth, and a receiving retirement system rate adjustment, Statler said.

Board member Melinda Jones voiced opposition to raising taxes all the way to the state limit, also known as the index.

"I know a lot of people, they're tired of their taxes being raised, and I know we need the money," Jones said.

When the finance committee met last month to discuss its recommendation to the board, Jim Witt voted in favor of recommending the board raise taxes to the index. Witt, also a board member, explained his position Monday.

"No matter how we cut it, whatever we do, we're short," Witt said. "I think it's fiscally responsible to get as close to balancing it (the budget) as we can."

The board will have to pull money from its fund balance whether taxes go up or not. Witt said it "scares" him to see the board dip into its savings to balance the budget year after year, leaving the district in "no position to defend ourselves if there's a disaster." He noted the board previously used its fund balance to make payroll when the district had to operate without a state budget.

Mosebrook said there was no increase in discretionary spending, only increases in mandated expenses like benefits and wages.

"If you want to start digging deeper, we're going to have to start cutting into programs," Mosebrook said to Jones.

Last year, the board voted to raise taxes by 2 percent, which was the first time the board didn't raise taxes to the index since 2006.

The board will vote on the proposed final budget at its 7 p.m. meeting April 23, which will make the budget available for public inspection. Board members will cast their final votes on the budget June 18.
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
07:05 AM ET (US)
K-12: How Our Schools Make Monsters
"In general, Rand applauds Maria Montessori and indicts John Dewey. She condemns Whole Word, for example:

    The comprachico technique starts at the base. The child's great achievement in learning to speak is undercut and all but nullified by the method used to teach him to read. The 'Look-Say' method substitutes the concrete-bound memorization of the visual shapes of words for the phonetic method which taught a child to treat letters and sounds as abstractions. The senseless memorizing of such a vast amount of sensory material places an abnormal strain on a child's mental capacity, a burden that cannot be fully retained, integrated or automatized. The result is a widespread 'reading neurosis' – the inability to learn to read – among children, including many of above average intelligence, a neurosis that did not exist prior to the introduction of the 'Look-Say' method. (If the enlightenment and welfare of children were the modern educators' goal, the incidence of that neurosis would have made them check and revise their educational theories; it has not.)"

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2....html#ixzz5CvW90CS1
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
08:08 AM ET (US)

I saw three cars with tickets on East King Street Saturday morning.

major momPerson was signed in when posted
06:59 PM ET (US)
Harry - I understand. I've asked that same question many times but all I get are the "deer in the headlights" look. I spoke to Doug Hoffman today and he had already spoken to the owner of the sofa and it will be gone in the next day or two. They are cleaning out, have a drop off container and trying to get other things in to put the sofa on top.
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
10:12 AM ET (US)

Thanks. I will but, you'd think though if I notice them, constantly on East King Street that the police who drive that street constantly would also notice. I don't see tickets on the vehicles. It does seem to be a lack of enforcement issue.
Edited 04-05-2018 10:13 AM
major momPerson was signed in when posted
07:29 PM ET (US)
Harry - I'm saying I don't know but I would assume that the police should be called. Seems to me it would be a traffic law. If they say no then I'd call the
Borough Manager who is also the Police Chief and let him know. You need to give addresses too!
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
10:15 AM ET (US)

Thanks. So it isn't legal to park on the sidewalk and the issue is an enforcement or more correctly lack of enforcement issue.
major momPerson was signed in when posted
09:29 PM ET (US)
concerned- did you CALL the Code Enforcement officer? I'm betting not but just so you know, he's also in charge of Permits, inspections, zoning. He's not just walking or driving around town spotting things. That's what WE are needed for. Also note, he can't make them move immediately. He can give them a citation to correct things in a period of time defined by law. Its frustrating I know but that's how it is. Call him at the borough office. He's in for so many hours per day before he goes out. He has voice mail if you need to leave a message. Plus, I think that a parking issue (I agree, its a shame) is handled by the police. I'd like to see people who park on their lawns ticketed too. Talk about cheezy looking....
Concerned CPerson was signed in when posted
10:08 AM ET (US)
I guess you can if the sidewalk belongs to them and it cracks they don't have to worry about Code Enforcement giving a citation...they can't be found..
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
08:37 AM ET (US)
Question. Are you allowed to park with your tires on the sidewalk in town? I am seeing more and more cars on King Street parked up on the sidewalk and was wondering if that is legal?
Concerned CPerson was signed in when posted
06:03 PM ET (US)
What's going on in this town? washer machine on a front porch for over a year,now furniture setting on the street for going on 3 weeks same house on E King St,the Ally behind Sheetz has junk cars ,mattress laying out,one backyard has so much construction equipment I thought it was a recycling center, backyard of the the old beauty shop is full of trash has to be rats ...wonder why your property value is going up like other areas? Look around? Do we have a code enforcement person? I thought that position was filled.. what happened to the person that was here a couple years ago.. everybody said he was no joke... whoever took his place is one
major momPerson was signed in when posted
04:35 PM ET (US)
Happy Easter everyone! I hope your day is blessed.
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
10:52 AM ET (US)
K-12: Illiterate New World
"As Huxley in the year 1931 was doing the final edit on his book, this country's Education Establishment built a new sort of assembly line for producing flawed children. Instead of withholding oxygen, this factory withheld the alphabet. Parents were told that the ABCs are not essential and could be ignored. As one famous expert announced dogmatically, "[c]urrent practice in the teaching of reading does not require knowledge of letters." Really?"

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2....html#ixzz5BFBybCME
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
01:26 PM ET (US)
Check out great schools.org; they rate schools on a scale of 1 - 10; 10 being great.

Rolling Acres 4
Alloway Creek 5
Maple Ave. 4
High School 8
Sandy Conrad, Borough SecretaryPerson was signed in when posted
10:06 AM ET (US)
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
01:21 PM ET (US)
From the Times:
Board member Carl Thompson said the demolition of Rolling Acres Elementary is behind schedule.
"I think the snow may have had a lot to do with that," Thompson said.
Smart Recycling Inc. was hired to do the job with a completion date of Feb. 16, Thompson said after the meeting.
While Littlestown may have not seen the harshest winter, Smart Recycling is located near Scranton and Thompson said the employees have had to spend more time shoveling snow at home than working on the demolition.
"It's not a quality work issue. It's the quantity of work they're doing," Superintendent Chris Bigger said.
Sandy Conrad, Borough SecretaryPerson was signed in when posted
11:06 AM ET (US)
A snow emergency for the Borough of Littlestown will go into effect on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at Noon., and will remain in effect until further notice. All vehicles must be removed from the snow emergency routes located within the borough. In addition, all vehicles must be removed from all cul-de-sacs during any snow emergency and/or any snow accumulation. If vehicles are not removed they will be towed at the owner’s expense. We ask that we all work together as we prepare for this snow event.
snowbirdPerson was signed in when posted
12:08 PM ET (US)
Any one know where I can purchase a scanner or monitor?
Edited 03-20-2018 06:04 AM
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
08:31 AM ET (US)

There doesn't really appear to be much educational leadership right now. Everything is about the soccer field. Spending $73,000 of taxpayer money on an airplane sculpture when the busses are falling apart and educational results are falling pretty much tells you what you need to know about their priorities.

I don't know enough about being in the bus business or sub contracting it to have an opinion, but it should be considered as an option.
snowbirdPerson was signed in when posted
05:38 PM ET (US)
Can any one explain why the school board continue's to be in the transport business.
Seems to me that they should let an out side firm do this and stay in business of teaching.

When I was working we found out it was cost less to let the expert's do the transporting and
we would do the manufacturing.

Perhap's something to think about.
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
10:43 AM ET (US)
I read in the Times that the bus fleet is old and they haven't bought any new buses in 4-5 years.

I have a suggestion, maybe crank up the airplane sculpture and fly it around the district and pick up students with it.

Times article:

The district has been down a bus since July, when bus 61 went out of service partially because authorities said it was not "yellow enough" and was rusting out, according to Herrell.

"It's just taking up space now. We can't use it for anything," Herrell said.

The district's oldest bus just turned 20-years-old. Herrell said the average lifespan is 10 to 11 years. Currently, the district has 18 full-size buses, one mid-size bus, and six vans, according to Herrell. He said that is two fewer buses than usual. Littlestown has about 1,440 students registered to ride buses, said Herrell.

"We have quite a few buses that are getting up in age," Herrell said. "We're getting to the point now that they're rusting out."
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
11:23 AM ET (US)

We are in basic agreement I think. My point is Littlestown's educational results are declining based on test results. The test results are, in my opinion, directional and do confirm our results are declining. All the talk of airplane sculptures and soccer fields and slogans don't change that we are declining. Educational assets are being wasted and spent in the wrong areas.
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
05:01 PM ET (US)
Harry, I beg to disagree. Test results are a reflection of what most students know. There were various reports of districts cheating on those results to superficially raise their overall scores before the tests were changed. I guess some are blaming the tests but I feel that`s pretty much a distraction from the real issue which is drifting away from curriculum which stresses basic english, writing, math, American history and civics to a curriculum which instead stresses PC, multiculturism, computer use, etc. The former gives a firm foundation to the later. Without the former, the later merely produces a dumbed down, robotic, ill-educated individual.
Edited 03-09-2018 05:22 PM
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
01:56 PM ET (US)

The "change to the test" didn't effect the high school's results. I don't buy blaming the test. Tests aren't perfect but they are directional and Littlestown's direction is headed down.

It appears there has been change in the district over the years. Soccer fields, slogans, feel good things, have replaced a focus on improving education. Any school district has limited assets. The focus on the use of our assets has not been on education. Buying a $73,000 airplane sculpture is an egregious example of this point. Besides being a waste of money, that was snuck through at the last minute.

momto4 hopefully the public wakes up and starts holding the board and administration accountable. Results speak for themselves. The feel good stuff and slogans do not prepare our students for the future.
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
05:43 AM ET (US)
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
05:40 AM ET (US)
momto4Person was signed in when posted
09:34 AM ET (US)
Harry C. - Thanks for the data breakdown! I will be addressing this to the board this month as a concerned citizen. I'm trying to investigate what's going on within the district and what us parents can do to help.
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
02:32 PM ET (US)
I was looking at the PA Dept. of Ed web page. It is interesting to look at the results of our schools and how badly they have declined under our current leadership. Each school gets a grade, sort like a test score. 100 is the highest. 90-100 would be considered an A, 89-80 a B etc.

In 2013/14 the high school was 83.2 and today is 84.2; a solid B, and one might argue the results of the previous educational direction when these students were coming up through the school.

Maple Ave. was 83.2 and today is 56.6; a solid F

Rolling Acres was 84.1 and today 65.8; a middle D

As we are spending our educational dollars on airplane sculptures and soccer fields and spouting off cute slogans, our schools are suffering and trending down hill.
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
10:09 AM ET (US)
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