Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

1) All three candidates have a vested interest in providing a quality education to students across the district–they are parents with elementary, middle, and high school students at North Allegheny. These candidates advocated for extra sections to correct class size, which is now included in the district’s 2013-14 plan.

2) All three candidates possess a strong skill set for moving the district forward–Ms. Fisher is a business professor and CPA, Mr. Pagone is a manager for an engineering/construction company, and Mr. Russell is an IT Director. These candidates advocated for new initiatives with respect to technology and STEM education, which are now included in the district’s 2013-14 plan.

3) All three candidates are proponents of financial stewardship–they believe the district should budget and plan for future obligations to ensure the best use of taxpayer funds. These candidates advocated for a PSERS reserve fund, which is now included in the district’s 2013-2014 plan.

4) All three candidates are advocates for the community–they believe residents should have a voice in matters that impact them. These candidates advocated for a community advisory committee to explore cost saving measures, which is now included in the district’s 2013-2014 plan.

5) All three candidates received a public school education and understand the value of public schools in our community–Ms. Fisher and Mr. Pagone are graduates of North Allegheny, and Mr. Russell is a graduate of Penn Hills. These candidates advocated for preserving the district’s successful education model, which postponed the vote on the closure of Peebles Elementary.

SaveNASchools believes North Allegheny is a thriving district, not a district in decline. We believe that if we continue to (1) hire top-quality teachers, (2) offer top-ranking programs, (3) provide a top-notch education, (4) implement new ideas, and (5) make sound decisions, the district will continue to flourish.

1. Teachers and class size play an important role in the learning process. We do not support the district’s decision to hire fewer teachers and operate 13 elementary sections above the district’s class size guidelines.

2. Programs such as music, GOAL, and ESAP are integral to the elementary curriculum. We do not support cuts to these programs because they are essential in developing the breadth and depth of the whole student.

3. The closure of any building will require the remaining buildings to operate with higher enrollments and fewer spare classrooms than we’ve ever operated at in the past.  We do not support an education model that will limit the district’s ability to manage class size and displace programs integral to the elementary curriculum.

4. The district needs a long-term plan that is focused on moving the district forward and generating new revenue.  We do not support the district’s position that we have to cut teachers, cut programs, and close a building because of economic challenges.  The challenges we have relate to the district failing to establish a reserve for PSER contributions and choosing to raise taxes instead of forging ahead with new revenue initiatives (e.g. creating a STEM education program that is open to non-district residents).

5. The district should adhere to a best practices model when making significant decisions. We do not support the district’s decision to (i) ignore a petition with 1,000+ taxpayer signatures requesting a community task force, (ii) hire a consultant who donated his services after being involved in a lawsuit with the district, and (iii) rely on enrollment projections that have underestimated elementary enrollment for the last several years.

In summary, SaveNASchools supports teachers, programs, class size guidelines, long-term planning, and best practices to keep our district strong.  We want North Allegheny to preserve what is great about our district while promoting new ideas that will make it even better.