I have been trying to avoid the subject of education, as it is a VERY hot topic for me. It infuriates me to no end, how a simple few (the local school board) play and bicker like the children they cannot control in their own district. – They are like incessant whining children who throw temper-tantrums; until they get their way, and voters give in to simply shut them up.

Uniforms

Pottstown School Uniform Shirt with School LogoYep, after MANY years in “planning” our school district implemented a “relaxed” uniform policy. It’s more of a strong dress code then a uniform. – It’s Kaki or blue pants (no Denim.), blue or white dress or polo shirts (with or without school logo) but still considered dress like. Blue or Kaki Skort for the girls. Normal gym uniforms, as expected for most Middle School and High School kids.

I love this policy… Should have been enforced YEARS ago. What I hate about this policy is that it is some-what loosely enforced building to building… Shirts where to be TUCKED IN, and they are not… Shirts are still two sizes too big for many kids, and they simply look very sloppy… The kicker; teachers and school administration do not have to wear the uniforms… Seems to me, the whining (adult) children got their way.

If you are going to enforce a dress code, do it for ALL, not for some… This includes teachers. I don’t care what you spent on your “professional wardrobe” (I’ve seen better.) enforce the code; not do as I say, not as I do.

Spending Money

I could write a book on this, and how free the district is with our taxpayers money; in a town that has little to no jobs to support the way they spend; where more then one-half of the students receive free or reduced lunch… This all started a few years ago, when the idea of renovating our five over crowding elementary schools… The BRILLIANT idea of an Early Childhood Learning Center “Mega School” was put on the table. Essentially closing all five elementary schools and building a multi-million dollar “Mega School“, for about $52-million… in, wait for it… the ghetto area of town… Yea! Students from all over the district would then have to be bussed to the “Mega School” for grades K to 5th.

Schools v Voters

Voters promptly shot down this idea in the last election (I was one of them.) and a total gutting of the school board with new individuals who at that time promised to “Keep our neighborhood schools“… One year later, it’s still a hot topic… and one individual voted into the school board has since “changed their mind” about the “Mega School” concept, and votes yet again swing in favor of spending millions on this community protested project.

Don’t get me wrong something needs to be done, our schools are crowded. But for god sakes THINK before you spend millions of tax dollars, in a town with already very high tax’s and no jobs to show for it.

Are two better then one?

My final topic… Merger… As this has been discussed by PA Gov. Ed Rendell… A suggestion that neighboring school districts merge, and share resources. To this extend, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

Evan Brandt – Pottstown Mercury:
In both districts, Pottstown and Pottsgrove, the catalyst for that talk has been the expense of school renovation and expansion projects now under consideration.

As the Pottsgrove School Board listened to residents gathered Tuesday to offer input on the potential to renovate and expand Ringing Rocks Elementary and Pottsgrove High schools, attorney Paul Prince told them that before moving ahead, the Pottsgrove board should consider a merger with Pottstown that could save money by requiring fewer facilities.

Composed of the townships of West Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove and Lower Pottsgrove, the Pottsgrove School District surrounds the borough of Pottstown and its self-contained school district on three sides.

Link to Full News Article

So, what would you do? Personally, I do think two heads are better then one, as long as they can get along. But in two school districts that fight like bickering siblings, it could very well be a disaster waiting to happen.

Edit Update: Febuary 9th, 2009…
Evan Brandt – Pottstown Mercury:
“The borough ended the 2007 financial year with a $1.2 million deficit, a recently completed audit of that year’s books has found.” It was confirmed on page 62 of the 75-page full audit report provided by the borough at The Mercury’s request.

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