Posts Tagged ‘Grosheider’

From 2009-2012, Maureen Grosheider’s record as Board President was one of consecutive tax increases, higher spending, and larger class sizes.  Despite a looming pension crisis, the District lacked a long-term financial plan and failed to establish a reserve fund to defray future pension costs.

In 2009, Grosheider told the Board that the pension spike predicted for future years was so egregious “the answer lies with the Legislature, not the school districts.”  While other districts were putting money away, Grosheider did nothing.  June 24, 2009 School Board Minutes

With no financial plan in place, Grosheider led the Board to raise taxes in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

In June 2012, the District’s Business Director told the Board that “Fox Chapel has raised their millage each year…and put that money into reserve to help offset the pension costs.”  After 3 years of tax increases, North Allegheny had no pension reserve fund.

Grosheider told the Board “Hindsight is 20/20 on things like this.”  June 27, 2012 School Board Minutes

As a result of the District’s financial troubles, NA operated 13 elementary sections above class size guidelines that year.  Some elementary classes operated with over 30 students.

In November 2012, the situation worsened and the District recommended closing an elementary school.  November 28, 2012 School Board Minutes

Despite community outcry around erroneous projections, Grosheider refused to form a community task force.  Later, it was discovered that Board Policy #4215 requires a Citizen’s Advisory Committee and that the Board was not compliant with this policy under Grosheider’s leadership.

In August 2013, after wasting an entire year of Administrative resources on the proposal to close an elementary school, Grosheider said the Board would not proceed with the recommendation—noting an increase in elementary enrollment.  August 28, 2013 School Board Minutes

In December 2013, newly elected school board members took office and new Board Leadership was appointed.  December 4, 2013 School Board Minutes

Under the direction of new Board Leadership, a Budget and Finance Committee was formed, an Elementary Class Size Policy was implemented, and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee was re-instated.

The new Board has also taken steps to prioritize expenditures, grow alternative revenue and establish a long-term financial plan—while Grosheider has undermined these efforts.   During the 2014-15 school year, Grosheider approved more expenditures than any other member of the NA Board—including the new technology plan—but voted against the budget to fund the very expenditures she approved.  July 2014-June 2015 School Board Minutes

On Nov 3rd, vote for the team of candidates committed to Moving NA Forward—BLACKBURN, DISQUE, FILIAGGI, FINLEY, MAHLER, McCLURE, and MEYER!

Chris Disque will be running against Maureen Grosheider in this November’s general election. Chris Disque made it onto the Republican ballot in the primary election and Maureen Grosheider made it onto the Democratic ballot in the primary election. The other remaining candidates made it onto both the Republican and Democratic ballots in the primary election.

If you are a registered Democrat, it’s important that you don’t vote a straight party ticket in the general election. If you do, your vote will go to Maureen Grosheider instead of Chris Disque.

Please share this ballot information with friends and family who live in the District.

If you have a group sign from the primary, please put it back in your yard at this time. You will also begin to see individual signs for Chris Disque to help promote his candidacy.

We will be posting additional election information between now and Tuesday, November 3rd to keep people informed. Thank you for your continued support!

November 3 ballot

November 3 ballot

Two years ago, a bipartisan group of NA residents came together to advocate for change on the North Allegheny School Board.   At that time, most of the school board members had been on the Board for over a decade, including Maureen Grosheider–who has been on the Board for 2 decades.
 
Under Grosheider’s Leadership, NA lacked a long-term strategic plan:
  1. The Board raised taxes for 3 years in a row (2010, 2011, and 2012).
  2. Inaccurate projections led to the recommendation to close an elementary school–the District projected an $8 million deficit, but ended the year with a $5 million surplus and an increase in elementary enrollment.
  3. Elementary classes operated above class size guidelines (11 sections were above the guidelines at the start of the 2012-13 school year).
  4. Classroom technology fell behind comparator districts (including Hampton and North Hills).
  5. The District was not compliant with Board Policy #4125–which requires that the District maintain a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to provide feedback on important District matters.
As a result of these issues, the district-wide movement to Save NA Schools took hold and 3 new members were elected to the NA School Board.  After the 2013 election, board members chose new board leadership and began the process of moving NA forward.
 
Under New Board Leadershipthe following changes have occurred:
 
  1. A new Budget and Finance Committee, comprised of 3 Board Members, was created to help prioritize District expenditures and develop a long-term plan with respect to fiscal management and tax increases.
  2. A new Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of teachers, parents, and taxpayers, was created to provide a variety of stakeholders with the opportunity to develop recommendations around advancing classroom technology. 
  3. A new Elementary Class Size Policy was created to provide guidelines for determining the number of elementary sections at the start of the year.
  4. A new Alternative Revenue Initiative was created for soliciting “payments in lieu of taxes” from large, non-profit organizations that reside in the District and benefit from the NA brand.  
  5. A new Citizen’s Advisory Committee was reinstated to give NA constituents the opportunity to provide feedback on important District matters.
 
As you can see, many positive changes have occurred under new board leadership.  We believe it’s important to keep that momentum going.  
 
Vote FILIAGGI, FINLEY, MAHLER, MEYER, DISQUE, & BLACKBURN on May 19th to Move NA Forward!
North Allegheny Patch
Vote to Close Peebles Elementary Delayed Indefinitely

North Allegheny School Board President Maureen Grosheider made the announcement Wednesday evening.

Suggesting that the proposed closure of Peebles Elementary School had become a distraction to the board and the community, North Allegheny School Board President Maureen Grosheider announced at Wednesday’s meeting that a vote on the issue would be delayed indefinitely.

To read more, click here.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

North Allegheny will not vote on closing Peebles Elementary

The North Allegheny School Board will not vote next week on an administration proposal to close Peebles Elementary School for the 2014-15 school year.

School board president Maureen Grosheider said Wednesday that board members would like to wait until there is new enrollment data, and they won’t have that until late August.

To read more, click here.

North Allegheny Patch
Superintendent’s Call to Delay Closing of Peebles Elementary Draws Mixed Reaction From Board, Parents

Dr. Raymond Gualtieri is now recommending the school close at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

By Richard Cook, Editor

[To read complete text,  click here]

Board member Thomas Schwartzmier said he was very happy with the delay in the Peebles closing.

“I’m glad that we reconsidered that, it’s something that I would have brought up at the vote had we not talked about it in advance,” he said.  “I think this will give everyone more time to react appropriately as we move forward.”

Board member Christopher Jacobs wondered about the sudden recommendation to add classrooms at McKnight Elementary.

“I felt the administration did their homework and was very confident in their recommendation,” he said. “Why wasn’t that (adding classrooms to McKnight) part of the initial recommendation? Are we less confident now than we were before?”

“I don’t know that we’re less confident but we heard over and over again from parents that parents were not confident with that,” Gualtieri responded. “The administration was confident that the 12 or so spare classrooms was enough, but we heard that over and over again from 330 people as we went through the various elementary schools and we tried to address that concern.”

Alison Fujito, a parent, told the board she couldn’t buy that argument.

“There’s just too much contradiction here for me to have a whole lot of confidence in your current recommendations,” she said. “I’m kinda shocked that these concerns that we’ve raised, 300 of us have raised, you keep calling them parental concerns, why aren’t they your concerns?”

Board member Ralph Pagone reiterated his opposition to closing Peebles at all.

“The last thing any district should do is close a school,” he said. “I still feel there are stones we haven’t unturned yet and I would ask that we continue to do that. “The thing that’s glaringly missing from this power point presentation to me is the $10-14-million dollars in cost that Bradford Woods elementary is going to need. I’d like to see that addressed. The building is going to continue to deteriorate.”

Board President Maureen Grosheider said, she too, wanted to make sure all options were explored when it comes to operating the district efficiently.

“I want to make sure we’ve done our job and our homework to make sure that we are as lean as we can be in as many appropriate places that we can be,” she said. “I would like to see money in the classroom, that’s where I think it belongs.”

At this week’s school board meeting, Mr. Pagone and Mr. Jacobs continued to challenge colleagues over the proposed plan to close Peebles.  Mr. Pagone made a motion to indefinitely postpone the public hearing and it was seconded by Mr. Jacobs.  The only challenge to the motion was from Ms. Ludwig, which prompted a heated exchange.  You can watch a video of the exchange by linking to the article on the NA Patch website.

The administration has proposed closing Peebles Elementary, but the school board is still undecided on the issue. It is the 9 school board members who have the power to close a building. The administration does NOT have power to do anything other than make the recommendation.

SaveNASchools encourages all North Allegheny residents to get involved in the effort to SAVE ALL SEVEN elementary schools in the district.

Top Ten Ways To Get Involved

  1. Attend the January 30th Public Hearing at 7pm in the Carson Middle School Auditorium
  2. Register to speak by emailing school board secretary, Rose Mary Ryan rryan@northallegheny.org
  3. Sign up as at www.savenaschools.com to receive information and updates
  4. Forward the emails from SaveNASchools to friends and neighbors
  5. Like our Facebook page
  6. Write a letter to the editor at the Post Gazette or Tribune Review
  7. Contact school board members by mail or by phone
  8. Invite friends and neighbors to attend the Jan. 30th hearing with you
  9. Volunteer to distribute flyers about the Public Hearing in your neighborhood (email us!)
  10. Email savenaschools@gmail.com with other ideas.

School board members Ralph Pagone and Chris Jacobs voted “no” to scheduling a public hearing for the closure of Peebles. Thus, they already agree that proceeding with closing Peebles, given the current facts, is not in the best interest of the district.

The following three school board members are open-minded, friendly, and still undecided on the issue. If you want to write a letter or make a phone call to a school board member, we recommend focusing your efforts on these three members. As a taxpayer and citizen, it is your democratic right to lobby elected officials.  The contact information for all school board members is made public on the district’s website. It has been provided here for your convenience.

  • Libby Blackburn 1015 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-364-0314
  • Joseph Greenberg, Ph.D. 1000 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-635-9520
  • Thomas C. Schwartzmier 2538 Cole Road, Wexford, PA 15090 724-935-4964

Additional members of the school board include:

  • Maureen M. Grosheider, President 103 Quail Hollow Lane, Wexford, PA 15090 724-935-2134
  • Daniel E. Hubert, Vice President 200 Wally Nue Court, Wexford, PA 15090 724-935-1355
  • Linda Bishop 1180 Woodland Road, Baden, PA 15005 724-772-2371
  • Beth A. Ludwig 231 Edelweiss Drive, Wexford, PA 15090 724-933-0234
  • *Christopher M. Jacobs 3966 N. Monet Court, Allison Park, PA 15101 412-487-1479
  • *Ralph J. Pagone 8761 Casa Grande Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-635-7155 (work)

In 2011, Bradford Woods was recommended for closure based on a projected decline in the district’s enrollment. The following statements were made by school board members in regards to the declining enrollment projections:

Source: August 17, 2011 School Board Minutes

“Mrs. Grosheider pointed out that 10 years ago, the projected enrollment for the District for last year was 7,187. In reality it was 8,126.”

“Mrs. Grosheider said it was a voluminous report and she would have appreciated an Executive Summary to help her pull the report together. She said that a 100% utilization rate at a middle school or a secondary school is more doable than at an elementary school because an elementary school tends to be neighborhood-oriented. She said if we are already at 100% capacity in an elementary school and a new family moves into the neighborhood, they would have to go to another elementary school, and that is not the way that we do business. She was informed that a number of new plans have just been approved in Franklin Park. We are getting about 80% of the school age children who live in North Allegheny; she would like a goal of getting 90% of those students and our challenge is to make sure that more of those children come to North Allegheny. She does not think that closing buildings is the best way to make that happen. Her personal goal is to ensure that the District has a great product and a great education to make it attractive to everyone in the District.”

Source: September 28, 2011 School Board Minutes

“Mr. Hubert noted that in the last five years, enrollment has increased by 2.2% overall; five years prior to that, it was down 3.4%, and for the next upcoming five years, it is projected down to 2.7%, and he challenges those numbers. He said with the economy being what it is, which is pushing people back to the public school system, and with the quality that NASD brings to the table, people migrate to North Allegheny. He does not believe that those numbers take these facts into consideration.”

“Mrs. Bishop said this past year, the live birth number was low and the downward trend started in 2000. However, she does not see a direct correlation between the birth data and class sizes. She thinks new housing plays a greater role in predicting what is going on than the live birth data.”

“The Board is very optimistic that, in light of the excellent education the District offers and the recent national recognition that both Wexford and McCandless have received for being outstanding suburbs that have excellent schools, people will continue to move into our District so that their children can enroll in our schools.”

“Mrs. Grosheider pointed out that for the six-year actual enrollments, the numbers have grown, but in the numbers that are projected, we go down. We need to be cognizant of that fact because we are looking at closing buildings and having empty seats. But our numbers are consistent overall and are actually growing. She reiterated the fact that we provide a very good education for the kids in this District and we need to sell that to the people.”

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Related posts:

Trib article: Community group questions North Allegheny enrollment projections

Letter to the Editor: Decline in student enrollment never materializes

SaveNASchools Community report