Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dr. Kimball clears up four misconceptions on the Feb. 8 Capital Projects Levy

Superintendent Chip Kimball clarified four misconceptions he's heard on the proposed Levy that's floating around the community -  in his January 10 report to the School Board.  The six-year, $65.4 million levy would cost each district property owner an average of $13 month.  The four community misconceptions recently asked of Dr. Kimball are:
  1. "When voting on this levy, are we voting for a high school class reconfiguration to 9-12?"  The short answer from Dr. Kimball is NO.  (for details, "Read More")
  2. "If the levy doesn't pass, will we still go to 9-12 in high schools?"  The short answer from Dr. Kimball is: "unequivocally, YES".  
  3. "Does this levy reflect an over abundance of investments by LWSD in the eastern part of the district?" Dr. Kimball's summary answer is:  "the investment of this particular levy is really about one thing and one thing's about creating space where the families exist in order to relieve overcrowding".  It's not about East vs. West; it's not about investment in one part of the district or the other,"  (for details, "Read More")
  4. "If the levy doesn't pass will the district go to 'double-shifting'; and what is double-shifting".  Dr. Kimball said double-shifting is when half the students go to school in the morning (6am-1pm) and half go to school in the afternoon (1:30pm -7pm).  Dr. Kimball said "there is no way to guarantee it one way of the other...however a real possibility of double-shifting exists should the levy not pass."  (for details, "Read More"
If the levy doesn't pass Dr. Kimball says the district is left with three options:  1) double-shifting, 2) change school boudaries and bus across the district, and 3) "re-purpose" monies approved by voters in 2006 to take it away from the western portion of the district.

Dr. Kimball concluded "my job is to provide the facts".  The school board is authorized to sell and promote the levy to their constituents.

President Jackie Pendergrass was the only Board member commenting on the levy following Dr. Kimball's report.   Pendergrass said the "LW levy committee will have two mailings and is doing phone calling." (Last election Pendergrass headed up the levy committee). She said the levy committee website and district website has lot of information, so it's not necessary "to ask the board for information".  Jackie did not say if board members are writing Letters to media outlets or making other efforts to promote levy passage. 

Ballots will be sent out January 19, so look for them in the mail this coming week.  The deadline to vote is Tuesday, February 8, midnight.

Reported by Bob Yoder
Source:  Regular school board meeting, 1/10/2011

Click READ MORE >>  for details from Dr. Kimball and Pres. Pendergrass


Misconception One:   The community asked when voting for the levy, are we voting for 9-12 high schools?
Dr. Kimball says,
"NO.  9-12 is a mechanism to address over-crowding by moving students out of elementary schools because we have more space in our high schools; and in doing this, of our 28 elementary schools, currently 22 or them ae overcrowded and we reduce that number substantially by as many as 15 schools that would no longer be over-crowded as a result of this move.  Secondarily, 73% of our community said to us in multiple surveys that  they preferred 9-12 high schools." 
Board President Jackie Pendergrass said " the bond measure that we didn't pass last February was not a vote we go to 9-12 high schools...."

Misconception Three:  Does this levy reflect an over-abundance of investments in by LWSD in the eastern part of the district?  Dr. Kimball said:
"When we look across the system we have to have a pretty thoughtful tool where we deal with the refurbishment of our facilities on a very rational basis, based on the aging condition of these facilities. And as a matter of fact, as you look at the investment over the past 7-8 years in the facilities we've invested in 2/3 of the money in the western portion of the district and 1/3 in the eastern part.

That said, what we can't control is where the families are moving to and where the population exists.  So, the investment of this levy is particuraly really about one thing and one thing only -- it is not about east vs. west and not about investment in one part of the district or the other.  It is about creating space where the families exist in order to relieve overcrowding."
Misconception four:   If the levy doesn't pass will the district go with double-shifting?  Dr. Kimball said:
"Double-shifting is a real possiblilty should the levy not pass.  No way to guarantee it one way or the other.
I don't think it is likely the Board would authorize nor is it likely I would recommend doing another levy if this levy [fails] to the tune of a few $100,000 of election costs and our community saying NO twice." 
No other Board members had something to say about the levy.

Reported by Bob Yoder
Source:  Regular Board meeting of 1/10/2011 (video archive)

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