Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2020 School Plan Begins to Come Together.

Over the last several years we have witnessed a steady growth in the student population of the Danbury Public Schools.

Determining growth of student population has been and will continue to be a tricky proposition. Demographers will tell you that they can only project out approximately three years with any certainty. Yet, school construction and building takes several years from the initial planning to execution. Assumptions that are valid in 2012, may not be valid in 2016.

There are a number of school construction projects that have been completed in surrounding communities costing millions of dollars in anticipation of student growth that never happened.

In this economic climate, we cannot afford to spend money that we don't have, yet, conversely, we cannot have a school system that is overwhelmed with students. It's a balancing act that must be managed if we are going to handle projected growth in a fiscally responsible manner.

Some consultants stated that we could handle the projected student growth with a straight redistricting. Some said that we would need a massive expansion program.

With that information, I asked our engineering department to review all of the work compiled by the consultants, assess every building, inventory every room, physically count all the children within our system, and then develop a blue print for each elementary building.

That blueprint should include a dedicated art and music room, a resource room, and various other special areas to ensure that all of the special areas are kept intact and to ensure that all Danbury Public School students have a similar experience.

Their findings indicate that we will have to do some redistricting, and that we will have to add additions to at least three of our elementary buildings to handle the influx of students that is projected for around 2015.

In addition, they recommend that we convert Mill Ridge Intermediate into a middle school to help balance the student population at Broadview and Rogers Park Middle Schools.

As we begin to conduct our due diligence on buildings that may be candidates for expansion, we will keep you informed.

Once all of our due diligence has been completed, we will then place on the November ballot a referendum question for the bond to pay for the expansion.

Educating our children is one of the most important responsibilities of our city government. It's important that we plan this right and do this right for our children..

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thank You Dr. King.

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." -  Dr. MLK Jr.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoughts On Iowa.

Every once in a while I like to opine on national politics for no particular reason other than it's fun and I have absolutely no responsibilities as far as national elections go..

Just so we are clear, I am supporting Mitt Romney - want to be transparent as possible (although I am intrigued by Jon Huntsman).

There is no doubt about it, Rick Santorum had a great night. With little resources and with a lot of gumption he was able to come within 8 votes of a victory over Romney and the fact that he was able to come so close is a testament to his hard work leading up to the caucuses.

So, what now?

Santorum has about 36 hours to try and cobble together a national campaign strategy before the Romney camp drops an A-bomb on his head. This an almost impossible feat, but, it can be done with a little luck.

The debates this weekend in New Hampshire will be critical for Santorum. He has not performed particularly well in the previous debates but nobody noticed, now, all eyes will be on him.

Romney did what he had to do. He won. A win is a win is a win. 8 votes or 8,000 Romney pulled it out in the end.

Originally, the Romney camp was not going to play at all in Iowa, when they saw he was within striking distance, he joined the fray. If the Romney camp is guilty of anything, they raised expectations way to high for Iowa.

New Hampshire is Romney's firewall, with a strong organization (frankly the Romney camp is the best campaign organization I have ever been around) and a strong lead in the polls, Romney should be in good shape next Tuesday.

A strong win in New Hampshire will help build Mittmentum as the campaign moves through the southern states.

Ron Paul had a rough night, he finished a relatively close third, but he did not meet expectations in the event. Iowa caucuses are driven by evangelicals, and social conservatives. Independents are allowed to vote in the caucuses. The entrance polling showed that Paul got his people out, there just wasn't enough of them to win.

This will be the high water mark for the Paul campaign.

So now on to New Hampshire..

Boy, that was fun..

PS. Hearing Bachmann and Perry will be dropping out in the next 24 hours..