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Palisades candidate questions member’s knowledge

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I recently heard the interview given by Dr. James Ott and Cora Landis on WWDB. While their mischaracterization of school programs was to be expected, I was shocked at Dr. Ott’s lack of basic knowledge about Palisades School District.
After serving on the board for four years, the closest approximation of our per student spending he could provide was $8,000. While no one expects him to be able to rattle off $20,324, that his best guess was less than half what we spend is concerning.
He also explained his suggestions for lowering charter school costs. The charter school funding he described may exist somewhere, but it isn’t Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, charter schools do not “set their price,” they receive approximately 75% of the per student expenditure of the child’s home district. In no case, ever, does the school pay more than its own per student cost, so his plan to charge parents who choose public charter schools makes no sense. Schools can lower their charter costs by lowering their own per student spending and by offering programs that retain students.

All of this was explained in detail, as it is every year, at the June 2 school board meeting. It is alarming that Dr. Ott has been approving budgets he clearly does not understand. I suggest voters remember this when they head to the polls Nov. 2.
Cyndi Shain, Riegelsville, Palisades School Board Candidate


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