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    From Public to Secret Group on FB "Friends for strong GC District 9 Schools" Archived Message

    Posted by Joe on January 21, 2016, 1:52 am

    I am sharing a post from a public Facebook page titled "Friends for strong Granite City District 9 Schools". As of this evening this page is no longer public and is described as a "Secret Group". The membership of this page was over nine hundred and now the membership is down to a handful (less than ten).

    I thought it was important to share the narrative below as it is now unavailable to the public and most likely one of the deciding factors to change the group from public to secret and to exclude over nine hundred followers.

    I am not including the name of the person who wrote this, but I'm hoping he will join in this discussion so this may be discussed even further. He has some very valid points that need to be considered

    "The Superintendent's speech was predicated on the phrase "status quo".

    However, considering the fact that the school district underwent a redistribution just over 2 years ago and have made other cuts as well in subsequent years, as highlighted by the Superintendent, it would appear that we are going to continue the trend of "status quo".

    I'm not sure what "status quo" he is referring to, because we've been seeing constant change in the past few years and things are going to continue in that direction with this new redistribution.

    It appears we are maintaining "status quo" in that we are downsizing yet again. If we hadn't had the cuts we've had in addition to the recent redistribution, and things had remained relatively unchanged, then THAT is status quo.

    I've analyzed a portion of the data gleaned from the student population graph. If you take a closer look at the student population since the 2009-10 school year, a couple of numbers tend to jump out, albeit the sample size is small.

    First, the decline in student population has decreased at a rate of 123/year since the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.

    Second, the decline rate made a significant shift at the end of the 2011 school year and remained more stable through the 2013 school year.

    It is not known as to what socio-economic factors contributed to this stabilization. However, for those two years, there was more of a balance and the student population received a net gain over that time-span of 15.

    One thing is clear, based on these numbers, the decline once again increased significantly in the years following the previous redistribution.

    If this plan is deemed the right one, why wasn't it executed two years ago?

    We are almost 2.5 years removed from the prior redistribution plan and the ink has barely had time to dry and here we go again.

    If the board thought what they did 2.5 years ago was a good plan, but turned out to have failed, why would this one work?

    It is extremely myopic to undergo a redistribution and then repeat the same process a mere 3 years later.

    You will continue to see a decline in the student population over the next couple of years and it will likely spike between now and next year, based on the previous data trend post redistribution.

    In addition, what if the trends continue, and the population continues to decline at a rate of 123 students/year? Will a third redistribution be required?

    The school board has no idea, but will obviously have to tout that this will be a good plan. Also, I'd like to know the cost of retrofitting schools like Prather in order to accommodate this new transition.

    Have there been bids placed?

    Why is Lake school scheduled to be closed when it is perfectly suited for kids that age and meets state mandated guidelines?

    It appears contradictory spending money to save money in this situation. What is the cost/benefit of closing a school then subsequently spending 10s of thousands of dollars in order to retrofit another to achieve the same standards as the previous school?

    What is the time value of money in that situation? It appears that in the short term at least, the cost of retrofitting will erode some of the net income gained by these school closures.

    So to highlight my points:

    1) We haven't achieved "status quo" for years.

    2) Expect to see the decline rate spike again after this new redistribution.

    3) Expect the board to have no idea how to effectively manage the situation in the future.

    If the school district were a business in the private sector and the Superintendent were the CEO he would likely be fired, based on what has transgressed over the past few years.

    Take a look at the NFL as a business model. If a GM/coach doesn't produce a winner, they tend to have a short shelf life.

    The same could be said of a Superintendent who consistently falls short of expectations set by voters.

    Do I have all the answers? No, but that's not the point.

    The point is that the school board doesn't have the answers either.

    The difference between us as parents and the school board is that it is there JOB to EFFECTIVELY manage the school district.

    A job in which they have consistently failed to do.

    Their history of failure has become their "status quo". That at least, you can count on."

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