What do those behind Citizens Against Withdrawing from Timberlane really know?
Guest Contribution by Arthur Green
- They know that they can distract from the serious issues with TRSD by trivializing the dispute as a personality conflict with the Superintendent.
- They know that Pinkerton Academy provides outstanding opportunities in academics, vocational, athletics and arts equal to or beyond TRHS.
- They know that Pinkerton has space for Sandown’s students.
- They know that property values will rise in Sandown if we tuition our students to Pinkerton.
- They know that the extraordinary school property taxes in Sandown are currently depressing our property values.
- They know that if they are sufficiently loud and personally insulting on social media and in public many people are intimidated into silence.
- They know that the tax burden of TRSD will only increase.
- They know that a multi-million dollar buyout fee is a fantasy and would never become payable by Sandown under any circumstances.
- They know that many parents of young children would like to see the middle school grades educated in town.
- They know that we have comprehensively rebutted CAW’s objection paper distributed at town Deliberative Session, but they pretend the rebuttals don’t exist and refuse to mention them let alone cite them for others to read for themselves.
- They know that the financial withdrawal plan has had more transparency and more vetting than a typical TRSD budget.
- They know that the best teachers in TRSD will eagerly compete for jobs under a teaching headmaster in a future Sandown school district.
- They know that Special Ed, athletics, and arts are all provided with very generous resources in the budget and staffing plan for withdrawal.
- They know that most parents view athletics and arts as enrichment rather than principal career objectives of a high school education.
- They know that Sandown North school has the space to house grades 4 – 8, and that the Withdrawal Plan will ease classroom and traffic congestion compared to what we are living with this year.
- They know that the town would NOT need to build a new middle school.
- They know that a YES vote on March 8 does NOT withdraw Sandown from TRSD, it initiates a process. Only if the state Board of Education approves the withdrawal plan, sends it to district-wide ballot, and a majority of Timberlane voters approve, will the withdrawal be committed. They know this despite publicly claiming that a YES vote is a legal commitment to form our own district.
- They know that Raymond is NOT a high school option in the withdrawal plan, despite public claims to the contrary.
Are there valid concerns or objections to withdrawal? There are, but the opponents have preferred to resort to lies and distortions about the actual withdrawal plan.
- They attempted to raise substantive questions about the financial analysis which shows that the town can afford to operate our own district. CASE has thoroughly refuted their objection.
- They could argue that the Sandown HS students would be overwhelmed by the huge student population at Pinkerton Academy. This is something each parent needs to judge on behalf of their own children, but it raises the question of why the towns already sending their students to Pinkerton don’t share that concern, and why towns like Hooksett and Candia are making or considering fresh commitments to Pinkerton.
- They could argue that the middle school students benefit from access to athletic and arts facilities which we would not be able to duplicate in Sandown. This is another tradeoff which parents need to judge on behalf of their own children, but it raises the question of how much priority to assign to grade 6 – 8 athletics and arts as compared to the other advantages of educating those students in town. Please note that the Withdrawal Plan provides generous resources in terms of teachers, equipment and budgets in these areas, and that when these students advance to HS any such gap would disappear.
Should concerns such as these be conclusive? That is up to the voting parents and residents.