No Room at Pinkerton? Wrong!

Posted by Arthur Green

There is hot speculation on social media that a vote by Candia to make Pinkerton its school of record will eliminate Pinkerton’s capacity to potentially accept Sandown.

This is not correct.

We have authoritative confirmation that, even with Candia, Pinkerton would still have capacity to consider accepting Sandown.

This confirmation is oral, not written.  I personally participated in the conversation, so this is not an assertion of something I was told at second hand.

There have been some parties demanding to see this confirmation in writing.   This demand is disingenuous.  Those making this demand have toiled since last September to eliminate, through the Sandown Board of Selectmen, any official standing which had been held by the town’s Minority Withdrawal Committee or by Cindy Buco to seek written commitments, or, for that matter, to pursue basic information which has been withheld by TRSD.

There is only one means to obtain official commitment from Pinkerton, or to obtain an authoritative resolution of the buyout fee – that is for Sandown voters to assert through their ballots that they wish to proceed with the Withdrawal Plan as written, which will send it to the Board of Education for the next stage of deliberation.

I suspect that the CAW group knows that Pinkerton offers a better alternative for Sandown than Timberlane, and that they fear that a substantial number of parents and residents associate the Pinkerton option with better education and higher property values.  Last fall, they were frantic to shut down consideration of the option, and now they are frantic to pull the option off the table by spreading false rumors.

Sandown parents and residents have a real choice for better schools at a lower cost.  A YES vote in March will not be the final word, but it will state our town’s intent, and if the YES side prevails it will begin the necessary formal process which could lead to our own town school district.

 

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31 Comments

Filed under Sandown Issues

31 responses to “No Room at Pinkerton? Wrong!

  1. Mary Munsell

    A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on!

  2. Kate Winter

    I am saddened and confused by your assertion that the Citizens Against Withdrawal “knows that Pinkerton offers a better alternative for Sandown than Timberlane” and fears that other voters will know that it’s better for education and property values. This is a group of parents and residents of Sandown that love the community and want the best for our children. I am not sure why you believe, beyond all reason, that parents would want less than the best opportunity for their children. You have known my family for several years, we have lived in Sandown forever, and probably will live here far into the future; of course we want the best for this town. While we may differ from you on what “best” looks like, and while we can argue about the impact this could have on taxes and property values, it is disingenuous for you to suggest that we are dishonest in our belief that staying in Timberlane is the best option. And one more thing…you both are clearly intelligent people who spend countless hours researching, but MY HUSBAND AND I are the experts on our two sons, and as the expert on that matter, I can assure you, Pinkerton is not the better option for them.

    • That may be, but what is your opinion of Pinkerton based on? Have you toured Pinkerton? Have you looked at their virtual tour? Is it based mainly on the size of the campus? $19,800 budgeted cost per student at Timberlane in unsustainable and indefensible and it is not going to get better. I believe Pinkerton is a superior option at a far better cost and that we can direct our own elementary and middle school program with more academic success. We are big enough to have our own school district and we should because Timberlane has grown a very diseased governance culture that no longer serves us, and apart from the performing arts and wrestling, is not giving us as a general standard a good enough outcome for our students. Should withdrawal succeed, parents will always be able to tuition their children to Timberlane if they believe that is a better option for them.

      • Donna, how do you figure $19,800?

        There’s 3,875 students projected to be enrolled. The budget would have to be $76,7250,000 for your CPP to be correct…..?

      • Budget for 16/17: 69,333,958

        teacher’s contract increase: 611,032 (year one)

        projected enrollment 16/17 (NESDEC): 3528

        69,944,990 divided by 3528 = $19,825,677. Without the TTA contract: 69,652,482.

      • Where are you getting 3875 projected enrollment? We have just 3673 students now. Your projection is way off.

      • Kate Winter

        In response to your question, I have toured Pinkerton, I have worked with students and staff there in my professional capacity, I have talked with alumni about their experiences, and I have followed the information that you and Mr. Green have provided. It is important to me that I am informed about choices that affect my family. I understand completely that we have differing opinions on the topic, and that we won’t sway each other on the matter; my comment was about Mr. Green’s assertion that the group of people who oppose this article “know” that withdrawal is best but argue against it anyway. I can only speak for myself and close friends and family when I say that our belief that staying with Timberlane is the better option is sincere and thought out.

  3. Why do you want to change from Timberlane to Pinkerton? Do you not like the education your kids are getting?

  4. Taxation without representation. What’s being offered at Timberlane is ” sit down, shut up, and shell out your tax dollars. We’re smarter than you.” Sandown is at this point in time because the majority of the school board is nothing but a rubber stamp for Metzler. Time to go our own separate way.

  5. Erich Beyrent

    Sending our kids to Pinkerton without having a seat on their school board is taxation without representation, plain and simple.

    • Funny thing, I was just wondering only this morning what happened to your voice all these many months.

      So tell me, what is the difference between two worthless votes on a school board of 9 or being a member of the board of governors at Pinkerton? No difference at all. Only at Pinkerton we can vote with our feet and go elsewhere if we are unhappy, within the terms of a contract, of course. At Timberlane we are absolutely stuck.

      • Erich Beyrent

        I know, I’ve been quiet lately. I have been paying attention though.

        In response to your question, I assert that voters can much more easily swap out the two worthless votes on the school board of nine than uproot an entire population of students, and there’s no dancing around contract terms either.

        As you know, it’s not trivial to transition students from one district to another. When you say that Sandown can “vote with our feet”, you’re talking about a lengthy and costly process that can’t simply be done in a matter of months.

      • But people who are free strike better arrangements than people who have no options and that is why Timberlane can take such advantage of its taxpayers.

      • Melissa

        Honest question here….
        From my understanding, if we tuition our students into Pinkerton, as we are not part of a Cooperative district, we will not have any say in any goings-on. With all this discussion about whether or not Pinkerton has space with for us, who is to say that although have space now (2018), that they will have space in the future. What happens to our Sandown students in five years from now when they decide they can no longer fit us?

      • That is all part of contracts….I would think part of any contract would be a sending town’s right of contract renewal. I would be surprised if in the history of Pinkerton, the situation you suggest has ever arisen.

    • Mark Acciard

      Pinkerton does not have a “School Board” They have a Board of trustees, and operate more as a private than public school. As I have posted before I, my brother and sister graduated TRSD, as well as my oldest son, in my oldest daughters freshman year we moved to Derry, and she, my youngest daughter both graduated PA, and my youngest is a Junior there now. I have had direct observation of both schools, their curriculum, standards, practices, and results. I have yet to find a complaint with PA. There is a reason that almost every year new towns are choosing Pa as their high school of record. And the tuition cost os less than TRSD is currently charging you. While I have no idea what contract would be negotiated with Sandown, you can tuition your child into PA for $10,800

  6. Erich Beyrent

    I know we don’t agree on this, and that’s okay, but I don’t feel taken advantage of by Timberlane. I feel like my kids are getting a good education, and while my taxes have gone up over the last eight years, that’s just life. My taxes did drop a little last year, which was nice.

    The idea of having no voice on a school board if we send our students to Pinkerton or Salem really bothers me, and in my opinion, is taxation without representation.

    Problems are solved by working cooperatively, not by stalking off the field with your ball. I still believe that we have lots of options open to us to resolve the issues that exist.

    • Timberlane has announced that they anticipate Sandown school taxes going up 11.5% this December.
      What options are there open to us to resolve this? Just one: Vote for Article 13 and watch the surplus be another $4 million to lower our crushing tax burden – but that isn’t why people should support 13, just a predictable consequence if they do.

      I wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes if we had the best school district in the state – or close to it. We are paying a premium price for less than premium overall results. It is poor value that is getting a poorer value every single year as enrollment declines but the budget escalates without reason.

      • Erich Beyrent

        I still believe that independent mediation is a viable route to work out issues between Sandown and TRSD. It’s a lot cheaper than divorce.

        I don’t have a lot of experience with school budgets, but I’m sure that budgets don’t escalate without reason. I’m equally sure that Timberlane, just like every other school district in the state, is at the mercy of what happens in Concord. We’re also at the mercy of insurance companies. These are usually the biggest reasons why budgets rise.

        It’s not a given that we’re going to see a $4 million surplus, and I wouldn’t vote yes on WA 13 with the hopes of getting a surplus to offset taxes. I don’t support altering my kids’ educational opportunities based on hopes and dreams. I don’t agree with the CASE numbers, and find that there are many costs that have simply been left out.

        Based on this, I see no other outcome than an astronomical increase in taxes in order to pay for this dream, and I honestly find little value in pursuing it.

      • And your wife is a teacher in the school district, too. There’s that to consider.

  7. ebeyrent

    That wasn’t very nice Donna, and was quite disingenuous. I’m not sure what my wife’s profession has to do with the issue, or the fact that both my parents are retired teachers. It’s no more relevant than your husband being from Canada.

    I’m proud of my wife, and I’m proud of the job that she does. Regardless of whether or not Sandown leaves TRSD, my wife will still be employed there. I have a lot more insight into what goes on in the district than someone who has no kids in the district.

    I’m also a taxpayer who pays attention. I know what my tax money is buying me, and I’m happy with what I’m getting.

    • Erich wrote: ” I don’t agree with the CASE numbers, and find that there are many costs that have simply been left out.Based on this, I see no other outcome than an astronomical increase in taxes in order to pay for this dream…”
      Mr. Beyrent and I go back a ways and fought a pretty nasty election battle last year. I doubt he actually reviewed the budget Arthur Green constructed after 80 hours of work and I find Mr. Beyrent’s opinions just a repetition of the CAW position. There are no holes in the budget and no costs left out. What there is, however, is a lot of talk to discredit the budget without any factual support for those claims. (See “Response to Critics” on CASE2018.wordpress.com for detailed and factual responses to CAW discrediting statements.)
      Yes, I do believe someone with a spouse or close relative employed in the district is not and cannot be objective about this withdrawal proposal. Timberlane would have to downsize and jobs would be lost.
      I’m not sure what kind of mediation Mr. Beyrent has in mind. What is a mediator going to say? TRSD, you can’t keep running your budgets up when your student enrollment is plummeting? TRSD, you need to up your game academically?

      • Proud TRSD Teacher

        Donna, with all due respect, I could teach in any district but want to be in the TRSD. There is no place I’d rather be. I’m proud to be a TRSD teacher. Erich and I are concerned about our children and not my employment. How can you assert that we cannot be objective when this is our children. I’m am absolutely flabbergasted that a school board member can be allowed to say such things. So disappointed.

      • Dear Mrs. Beyrent:
        Let me respond to your message in parts. “How can you assert that we cannot be objective when this is our children.” Not only your children but potentially your job, so yes, I can’t see how you would be a candidate for objectivity in this issue.

        “I’m am absolutely flabbergasted that a school board member can be allowed to say such things.” Hmmm… does that mean you embrace the idea that elected officials should somehow have fewer rights of free speech and opinion than other citizens?

        I’m delighted you like teaching at TRSD.

  8. Slowes

    Geez, Donna… It was a good conversation… Right up until, the nasty comment about Erich’s wife,,, I will cry foul, if no one else does.. You are looking for an honest to goodness discussion and that’s what you had, you were both acting like adults,,, come on!!

  9. Melissa

    Mrs. Green,
    With all due respect, are you insinuating that just because Erich’s wife works for the district that his opinion must be biased? It is not his wife’s job that is on the line here, but rather the education and well being of his children.
    I know you have mentioned in the past that you feel that those with spouses or family members as part of the district should not hold office, as their opinions may be skewed. Can you honestly say that in your years of working, or within Mr. Green’s positions that you have always agreed with everything that your company did? I cannot honestly say that I agree with everything Timberlane as done. However, as adults, and especially those who hold public positions, I would hope could see that we do not always agree. It is our mission to work it out.
    As Erich said, there are other options. Why “throw the baby out with the bath water”? Timberlane, overall, is a good school district. Are there things that could be improved on? Yes! However, I can say honestly say that withdrawal is not the answer. My opinion, it is not skewed by being an employee of the district. My opinion is based rather on facts. I am a Timberlane graduate and have done well in my life. Education is what you make of it, but you also need to be provided the opportunities. Timberlane did that for me. As a parent,I want my children to have the same opportunities and experiences that I did.

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