29 March 2024

Alpine School District published MGT report

 Alpine School District has uploaded the MGT report online for the public to view and has requested feedback in the form of a survey link. The division would be made according to state law.

Key points and takeaways:

  • ASD currently has 92 schools: 60 elementary, 15 middle/junior highs, 10 high schools, & 7 special program schools
  • The MGT report tends to emphasize the district's puppy dog side - the things that are going well - and minimizes the concerns that have many people across the district pleading for a division. The fact is, a district division is not a simple process and would require work on everyone's part. But the benefits of splitting (local control, more transparency, more community involvement) - and more importantly the consequences of not splitting (not passing a bond, distant representation, etc) - far outweigh the disadvantages of dividing.
  • Money follows the student. Almost 2/3 of ASD's budget comes from the state and follows each student regardless of what district or how many there are. About a quarter of the budget comes from property taxes, and another 10% comes from the federal government.
  • The report failed to mention key information like:
    • How much property tax each city brings in to ASD.
    • What schools are being considered for closure in upcoming years.
    • Schools that are considered seismically unsafe.
    • Areas where schools are beyond capacity and what/where school buildings are needed in coming years.
    • Provisions in state law that require employee salaries and benefits (including tenure, accumulated leave) to be maintained for at least 1 year.
    • What resources could be shared between the new districts?
    • What redundancies in administration can be eliminated by having 3 smaller districts (assistant superintendents, curriculum specialists, etc)? 
  • The $200 million dollar bond figure seems excessive. The new districts would not all have the same bonding needs. The east side would have some schools to fix up and/or rebuild, but $200 million dollars is just under half of the $595 million failed bond ASD proposed that would have built a high school, a middle school, and four elementary schools, in addition to major projects for several high schools. Some bonding will likely be needed, but not to the amount proposed here. And remember, whether the district splits or not, bonds will be proposed by the district to build and rebuild schools. A split is merely letting each side of the district decide what money they want to spend where.
  • Once again, Option 4 is the most balanced and equitable option being considered. It allows communities facing similar issues to address those issues and not worry about what other communities do with their education dollars.

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