TESD School Budget Marks a Milestone For Community Matters

I started Community Matters approximately 2 months ago in hopes of presenting important local issues that would engage the community. It was always my goal to deliver information in as balanced and honest a manner as possible, all the while understanding that some topics had the potential of creating a firestorm of debate.

As more and more people have found Community Matters, the daily average of visitors has continued to rise. Since late November, total visitors have now reached 25,000 people. Yesterday marked a milestone for viewership, I am reporting 1,350 visitors, the highest one-day total to date. The Tredyffrin Easttown School District (TESD) 2010-11 budget was the major ‘topic of interest’ with nearly 60 comments left by community visitors.

Reading the online comments, whether from concerned residents, school district teachers, T/E parents, you realize a collective theme; the severe economic downturn is affecting many in this community. Delivered with passion and commitment, visitors provided personal insight; many stakeholders feeling they cannot afford a  6-7% tax increase and suggesting the administration must come up with significant spending cuts. Teachers passionately responded that they fear the quality of the education in the district is in jeopardy unless the standard of programming is maintained. Some residents suggested that their personal financial issues should not be construed as caring less for the teachers, but rather they simply cannot afford aadditional taxes. Overwhelmingly this community supports their teachers and the school district, but there is no escaping the economic realities and the financial struggles facing many in this community.

Attend the School Board meeting tonight (Conestoga High School, 7:30 PM) – help to make a difference in the outcome by participating in the process.

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4 Responses

  1. I agree that all opinions are valid in the process. But I do think there needs to be a reality check for the district teacher. If the school budget process is to be satisfactory, something in the quotient must change – teacher furloughs, programming cuts or tax increase. The answer is not simple . . . the school district did not get to its present situation overnight. There’s much blame to go around so I think we need to look for solutions, and I hope that the School Board will listen to the audience members. And here’s hoping that TEEA union president Debra Ciamacca will not continue to negatively impact the budget process, for the sake of the teachers as well as the community.

  2. Congratulations, Pattye! Your doing a great job with this blog. Just remember to keep it “fair and balanced”! Seriously, I think this is a great forum for exchange for our community. Keep up the good work.

  3. I’ve attended budget meetings for 10 years and at the most 6 or 7 residents showed up with about 25 members of the district. Tonight may be an exception so I have a few suggestions. Come early & be prepared to stand ..the cafeteria at Conestoga has about 200 chairs and it may be standing room only.The regular meeting agenda has 2 opportunities for public comment but the student awards are in the beginning. Remember you are on TV . prepare your comments it is nerve racking speaking to a crowd. We’re all in this together .. be civil ..instead of attacking one group please try to have some suggestions to help the district & community get through this tough time.Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Pattye, for this forum. You hit the nail on the head – we all respect and value teachers, but many TE residents just can’t afford continuing increases in our taxes when many of us are actually making less money, and in some cases, significantly less money. Something has to give. This pain needs to be shared by all parties – not just the taxpayers. Please come to the school board meeting and share the feedback you have received on this blog. It is very valuable information.

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