On Sunday night, Dec. 7th, Cathy Gorman sent an email on behalf of herself and Arthur Green to the entire Timberlane Budget Committee as well as the Sandown Selectmen. In it she argues that Sandown Central School cannot be closed without a firm proposal that would honor the Articles of Agreement of our cooperative school district, thus the budget proposal that is predicated on such a closing is not one that should be subject to deliberation by the budget committee at this time.
This is a serious matter and one that should be taken seriously by all elected officials in the school district. Mr. Grosky’s response doesn’t rise to the occasion. Any citizen has a right to petition their government for redress of grievances – even an oppressed budget committee member.
Here is Mr. Grosky’sreply to Ms. Gorman’s excellent letter:
sent 2014-12-07 21:42:43 GMT
Subject: Re: TRSD 2015-2016 Budget Draft version 2
Please refrain from conducting our business via email, which this clearly does. We have meetings in public to conduct our business.
I would think the correct response would be to say, yes, this will be on the agenda for discussion and I will ask the administration to address your argument. But then, I don’t have a spouse contracted to the school district.
Below is the reasoned email that elicited Mr. Grosky’s imperious reply. (The original email included the full Article of Agreement which I omitted for brevity but which can be found on Timberlane.net under “Documents.”)
sent Dec. 7, 2014 8:36 p.m.
Dear Budget Committee Members,
On behalf of Arthur Green and myself I am sending the following correspondence. Lynne, please forward to the Sandown BoS :
The draft 2 budget is not a viable option to comply with the Budget Committee direction to propose a flat-line expenditure budget.
A school closure is an action which requires studies, consultation and evaluation of alternative solution approaches, and cannot be responsibly be executed in less than 1-2 years.
There is abundant opportunity for cost reductions without closing a school, even if closure should be agreed to be ultimately necessary.
A serious closure proposal would honor the Articles of Agreement, which require that all students are educated in their home town for grades 1 to 5 (see below for additional information).
The committee should not deliberate or vote on a budget proposal which cannot be responsibly implemented. The administration has an obligation to provide this governing body with a flat-line expenditure budget with reduced expense and staffing practical for implementation in 2015/16; draft version 2 does not meet the BudCom request.
Below is information regarding the Articles of Agreement so the BudCom can better understand why we cannot cut the funding for Sandown Central from the budget for the 2015-2016 school year:
ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT AMONG THE TOWNS OF
ATKINSON, DANVILLE, PLAISTOW AND SANDOWN
PerRSA 195:18 Procedure For Formation Of Cooperative School District:
III. A cooperative school district planning board may recommend that a cooperative school district composed of all the school districts represented by its membership or any specified combination of such school districts be established. The planning board shall prepare proposed articles of agreement for the proposed cooperative school district, which shall be signed by at least a majority of the membership of the planning board, which set forth the following:
- (a) The school districts which shall be combined to form the proposed cooperative school district and the name of such cooperative school district.
- (b) The number, composition, method of selection and terms of office of its cooperative school board, all in accordance with the provisions of RSA 195:19through 23 inclusive, provided that the cooperative school board shall consist of an odd number of members not more than 15 for terms not exceeding 3 years.
- (c) The grades for which the cooperative school district shall be responsible.
Language of section 3 of the Articles of agreement:
3. The Timberlane Regional School District shall be responsible for the public education of grades 1 through 12.
Pupils in the pre-existing districts shall be assigned by the Regional School Board to attend the elementary schools in the pre-existing districts in which they reside for no less than the first five years of formal schooling. Resident parents or guardians may voluntarily request that their grade 4 and/or grade 5 student(s)be assigned to another in-district public elementary school on an annual basis as long as seats are available and that no additional costs (transportation, etc.) be incurred by the School District. The Regional School Board may assign pupils to a school other than one in the pre-existing district in which they reside for the purpose of special education not available in the pre-existing district. Grades 6 through 12 may be maintained in central schools within the Cooperative District.
Our agreement clearly states grades 1-12
A child is required to attend school starting at the age of 6: 1st grade – RSA 193-1
Per the agreement; section 3:
Pupils in the pre-existing districts shall be assigned by the Regional School Board to attend the elementary schools in the pre-existing districts in which they reside for no less than the first five years of formal schooling
The only option a principal may have for a full day public program, according to state law, is if the district offers full day Kindergarten. Then, according to state law, compulsory education full time at age six can be achieved in a full day Kindergarten program.
To amend the agreement without a warrant article and majority vote:
Language of the Articles of Agreement; section 15:
15. These Articles of Agreement may be amended by the Timberlane Regional School District, except that no amendment shall be effective, unless the questions of adopting such amendment is submitted at a cooperative school district meeting to the voters of the district voting by ballot with the use of the checklist after reasonable opportunity for debate in open meeting, and unless two-thirds of the voters of the district who are present and voting shall vote in favor of adopting such amendment. Furthermore, no amendment to these articles shall be considered except at an annual meeting of the cooperative school district and unless the text of such amendment is included in an appropriate article in the warrant for such meeting. It shall be the duty of the cooperative school board to hold a public hearing concerning the adoption of any amendment to these articles of Agreement at least ten days before such annual meeting and to cause notice of such hearing and the text of the proposed amendment to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the district at least fourteen days before such hearing. Until the date of operating responsibility is assumed, the Regional School Board is empowered to call a special district meeting under the procedures outlined above for the purpose of amending the Articles of Agreement.