Article By: The Press
Biggest issue for residents
The candidates were asked to respond to the following question in 100 words or less: What do you see as the biggest issue for the residents in the East Penn School District?
Democratic and Republican
Good schools provide a well-rounded education, one that includes challenging academics and strong vocational programming along with music, art and athletic opportunities. The key issue for the East Penn School District is to continue to improve the quality of our schools while delivering taxpayers good value for their educational investment. Over the last several years, we have rolled out a 1:1 technology program and universal full-day Kindergarten while keeping tax increases below the Act I index, demonstrating the board’s commitment to educational excellence and fiscal discipline. Good Schools Matter!
The biggest issue facing residents of the East Penn School District is the changing landscape of the global economy which requires of a level of preparation different than what was required in prior decades. Revitalizing our curriculum will prepare our youth for undetermined opportunities – opportunities yet to be created. To meet the challenge, our youth will have to be resilient, open to change, and demonstrate an ability to connect with all kinds of people from very diverse backgrounds. These future global citizens will need to develop competitive analytical skills and strong social and emotional learning skills. (Editor’s Note: Added after print deadline.)
The biggest issue I see for residents in the East Penn School District are payments to cyber charter schools. The district is mandated by the state to make payments to cyber charter schools for each student from the district who attends. Many residents do not have children who attend cyber charter schools and are unaware of the payments. The payments take away funds from the students still in the district. In 2016-2017, cyber charter schools cost PA school districts and taxpayers $463 million.
I believe it is important that the EPSD continue its commitment to excellence in public education in a fiscally responsible manner. With the district facing ever increasing costs it is vital that the State continue to increase funding support of public education, work for reforms in programs like cyber charter schools that can save millions, and provide additional resources for career and technical education as well as special education. EPSD needs board members who can appropriately balance the needs of our schools with those of the tax-payers. Strong public schools are the foundation for a growing and more prosperous community.
Jeffrey R. Jankowski
Property taxes are always a concern for residents in the school district. That is one of my concerns too. Great schools have a direct correlation to building great communities which in turn increases the value of living in the school district. It is important that our schools provide the resources and support to attract and keep the best teachers and to provide our children with a secure, supportive and enriching learning environment. This can be done in a fiscally sound way. I would like the opportunity to contribute to the continued excellence of the East Penn schools for the benefit of my children and all of the children of the East Penn School District, and for all of our communities.
“The primary issue for residents of the district is how to best balance the needs of the students, staff and taxpayer. In order to maximize the benefits of our public school system, school boards are obligated to advocate for high quality and diverse educational opportunities for all students, while also being efficient and fiscally responsible in the use of taxpayer-provided resources. Districts must apply good governance to find ways to obtain necessary classroom resources through both fair and thoughtful financial and program-based solutions, while also ensuring a positive district climate among the students, staff, and surrounding community.”
Diane L. Schaffer
My major concern for residents is that the taxes they pay for the East Penn School District are expended as efficiently as possible, providing the best education and safety for students, at the lowest cost.
I see the biggest issue as how to maintain a quality education for our students while being considerate of the wallets of the taxpayers. (Editor’s Note: Added after print deadline.)