Washington Township Education Coalition 

   
                           Join us on Facebook:  Washington Township Education Coalition.    

Like Us on Facebook  (We have our own stand-alone facebook page, as opposed to K.I.D.S. using the Dover Area School District, North Salem Elementary School facebook page... of all places.)

             The state Board of Education has set the hearing date for our case 

        PUBLIC HEARING:  June 3, 2015
  (at the York Judicial Center York City)


Please save this dates and plan on going.  Tell everyone, plan on sharing rides with your friends and neighbors, make this a top priority.

People of Washington Township, this is it!  We get one day in court to determine if we transfer to Northern or remain stuck in Dover.  

Every person that signed the petition must show up to testify.  This is your final opportunity, your last chance.  

It's not enough to have signed the legal petition, it is not enough that we have the legally-recognized vast majority (74%) of Washington Township to join Northern, or that we have already received two different legal approvals from the Court, or that we have the hard-earned approval by Secretary of Education for educational merit of the transfer to Northern.  The state Board has the final decision and is not bound by the Secretary's decision.    

Therefore, every single person in Washington Township, (all 1,406) must show up in York on June 3rd and testify.  Mark your calendar now, no matter what, show up.  We either unite or let the 3 dozen or so K.I.D.S. people dictate the future for the entire Township.  

- T
he state Board decided to hold the hearings at the York County Judicial Center (as opposed to within Washington Township).  Of course, everyone would prefer we hold the hearings here, but it was not WTEC's decision to make.  The state Board indicated that people will have 5 minutes to testify, which may be reduced to one minute depending on the number of people who register.

-  Each person must sign up in advance in order to be admitted/approved to testify.
   (WTEC does not know who/where/how to do this at this time.)  
 

-  After the June 3rd hearing, the Board make the final decision in September, 2015.  


Stay tuned for news on this, and for WTEC's Public Informational Meeting to be held later this Spring.  



     -  Again, for the record, every person in Washington Township, including the K.I.D.S. residents have every right to be treated with respect and to testify at the hearing.  This is something we have always expected to happen, and anything less is bad government and not transparent.  We disagree that the state PSEA (teachers union) should have the same level of interest in this case as the people of Washington Township.  (Isn't it interesting that not even K.I.D.S. or the union trusts DASD to represent their interests?  What's that tell you?)  

Anyway, WTEC had previously recommended (Feb. 2014) to the state board to hold a series of hearings at the Warehouse Church on Big Dam Road and/or the huge New Life Church facility on Rt 194.  Obviously, these two places would be best and the most convenient for Washington Township.  WTEC offered to pay for, advertise in the newspapers, coordinate and schedule these public hearings.  The state Board ignored our request.  Thus, it is not our idea to hold the hearing in 20+ miles outside of Washington Township in the city of York or to limit the time to 1-5 minutes.      
   
            
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2/7/15 - Department of Education releases SAT scores:  Northern scores higher SAT's than Dover, for 
at least 15 years in a row, every category of the SAT, every single year.  This latest accomplishment puts Northern at 85 of 653 high schools in the state, and ranked as #2 in York County.  What parent would not want this for their child?            

For now, we are forced to send our students to Dover while year after year after year ... we can only watch as Northern continues to outperform Dover in the SAT, (and the PSSA's, AYP measures, the Keystones, the ACT's, graduation rates, college placement rates, with Northern having seven times lower in-school crime, lower truancy, lower dropout rates and closer schools for all elementary children).
  Another year, another Northern milestone... meanwhile over 180 WTEC parents are denied their choice to send their children to NORTHERN.  The people of Washington Township await the opportunity to testify at the state Board hearings so that soon our children can get the education they deserve.  

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Below, see Northern's position statements to the State Board of Education regarding Washington Township 


From:   Resolution of the Board of School Directors of the Northern York County School District, approved 1/15/15

 These statements are from Northern's official, adopted Resolution, verbatim:
                                   ...
Page 3, #2.   "The financial ramifications of the proposed transfer of Washington Township, if approved, are that the combination of additional anticipated tax revenues from Washington Township and increased basic education subsidy revenues from the Commonwealth are likely to exceed anticipated expenditures for addition personnel and facilities directly related to the influx of additional students from Washington Township."
 
 
(The NYCSD clearly states that revenues gained from Washington Township are likely to exceed expenditures.  Recognize that after exhaustive fiscal review, this statement from the professionals of Northern soundly refutes the fear-based statements of state Representative Seth Grove, K.I.D.S. and the YDR.  Grove, K.I.D.S. have repeatedly claimed that this transfer will force Northern raise to taxes, which is false.  Northern has verified otherwise, further undermining the credibility of any such claim. As maintained by WTEC since 2011, Washington Township will more than pay for all student and facilities costs of this transfer.   Northern's firm statement is the final word on the subject.

                                     
Page 3, #4.  "The proposed transfer of Washington Township, if approved, will not affect the ability of the Northern York County School District to deliver a quality education to all of its students, including the students affected by the proposed transfer.  The School District's guiding principle has always been to serve the best interests of the education of its students.  This principle will not change when the State Board defines who those students are."
                               ...

Page 4, #1.  The Northern York County School District shall maintain a neutral stance on this issue.  It neither supports nor opposes the proposed transfer of the Washington Township Independent School District to the Northern York County School District.


Page 4, #2.  The Northern York County School District supports the concept of local control, which allows the community to have a voice in educational, financial, and political issues that directly impact them.  The Northern York County School District supports the self-determination of the residents of Washington Township in this matter and supports the process established by the Public School Code, which authorizes the State Board of Education to make the final determination on the proposed transfer."        
- Northern is under no obligation to make this statement as part of its official resolution.  That being said, by its statement, Northern again shows its top-notch, quality educational leadership.  Having the foresight, knowledge and fortitude to make this statement illustrates the depth of the leaders and vision of Northern.  Accordingly, we the vast majority of Washington Township truly thank you and offer our deepest appreciation, as Northern recognizes of the commitment of everyday citizens efforts in a grassroots struggle seeking improved educational outcomes.  The people of Washington Township are forever indebted to the leadership of Northern's Board and Superintendent.  Regardless of the final decision taken by the state Board of Education, Northern's written support for local self-determinism and value of local control in educational, financial and political issues speaks volumes of its educational philosophy and vision (the polar opposite of Dover).

 Northern's leadership displayed during this effort only reinforces Washington Township's intense desire to join Northern and to only trust its children in your hands.  Northern shows a unique understanding of its the role in the service of public education, the administration's role in relation to common people as well as the Department.  This is but one of the many reasons that over 180 parents and 1,406 people of Washington Township seek to join the Northern York County School district. 
 
                        ...
Page 5, #5.  "Because the proposed transfer, if approved, will have ramifications for students residing in Washington Township and presently attending the Dover Area School District, the Northern York County School District requests that the State Board of Education, as a condition of the proposed transfer, require both the Northern York County School District and the Dover Area School District to prepare a joint plan of transition to ensure that appropriate consideration is provide(d) to the educational needs and desires of the affected students and their families."

One word:  LEADERSHIP!  This statement demonstrates that Northern's leadership is of the highest order.  All parties involved in our case as well as the state Board of Education should recognize its value.  Northern continues take a key leadership role and WTEC fully supports this (above) request.

- WTEC's direction to its attorneys aligns with Northern to work out the best compromise for both districts in anticipation of the best transition possible.  This includes WTEC's standing request to allow Washington Township high school students to finish their high school educations in the school district of their choice.  WTEC has funded and encouraged these legal negotiations, starting last summer, to allow for school choice for high school students, and we see no reason that both districts and the state Board can not approve of this option.  Going above and beyond and assuming responsibility during a situation it did not ask for, Northern looks ahead, has led discussions, negotiations and innovative planning to make the best transition for all students

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Below:
 A picture (or map) says a thousand words.  This map illustrates the even distribution of people who signed the legal petition and want to become part of the Northern district.  The map shows no lopsided favoring of any particular section of Washington Township.  To the outsider, this map may appear to be somewhat underwhelming.  Yet, considering that Washington Township has the second highest number of large, open space parcels of all townships in York County, the reality of this map begins to set in.  Due to decades of wise land use practices, Washington township has a large number of huge open spaces, big farms and many wide open properties.  Thus, looking at this map illustrates the support of vast majority of our people, where their residences are located (indicated by red dots) representing residents who signed the petition. 

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