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Charter school

December 19, 2013

The taxpayers of the Jersey Shore Area School District need to READ the proposed application presented to the board of directors from the coalition for Nippenose Valley Charter School....

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Dec-19-13 6:29 AM

In today's Lock Haven Express, there's an article about the budget problems looming for KCSD. From the article:

"Finally, the costs of the cyber and charter schools are expected to increase in coming years. Next year that hit is expected to be $3.8 million, an $800,000 increase and much of that represented by the jump of 50 students from the now closed Sugar Valley elementary School to the Sugar Valley charter school system.

Peters said the cyber/charter system now represented about $4 million, or six percent of the district's budget."

Hold on to your wallets.

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Dec-19-13 6:37 AM

From a distance, it just seems like there are gaps in this ongoing saga.

Is the real issue that people in Nippenose Valley don't want their children to go all the way to Jersey Shore? Or they don't feel like they get adequate representation in the school district? Or they don't believe JS it is the best education?

Should a better solution be to break apart the Jersey Shore school district, give the school building to a newly created Nippenose school district and let them run it.

Of course the question then surfaces are these a bunch of whiners that are selfish no matter the consequences to the children or do they have the drive and ambition to create a good school environment to teach the children.

Forgive me if I am wrong or accusatory. Just looking in from a distance.

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Dec-19-13 7:29 AM

So in essence the district closed schools that were costing them too much money to operate only to have to shell out more for the charter schools that replaced them.

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Dec-19-13 7:38 AM

I have a question. With the recent news that Newport Business Institute closed their doors without an advance notice, what prevents a charter school from closing it's doors without a word of warning?

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Dec-19-13 8:04 AM accurately answer your question, the valley has always seen themselves as being 'better' than the townspeople. It's a well known fact in the area and they will spare no legal 'expense' to achieve their ends. The legal 'expenses' will be charged back to the district by the famous Julie Stienbacher,,to the tune of $100,000.00...Oh...and it just so happens her name is on the charter application. These people will never form their own district when they can 'rape' the whole district for their 100 little that's the truth of this matter!!!!

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Dec-19-13 8:34 AM

The letter writer makes some good points, but she seems to draw an unwarranted conclusion. She seems to conclude, while not actually saying it that charter schools are bad. I'm sure that some are and charter schools who perform poorly or at too high a cost should have their charters revoked, but one bad charter school is no reason to refuse a charter to another. I agree that the application for a charter has to be carefully scrutinized, but just because the public school system couldn't run this school well doesn't mean that no one can. I fear that even if this new school has a solid plan, they may have a hard time getting a charter because of the other charter school. It's the old "once bitten, twice shy" syndrome.

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Dec-19-13 8:48 AM

"what prevents a charter school from closing it's doors without a word of warning?"-Chuck

That seems like a fair question, so here's the answer. The law that governs charter schools in Pennsylvania requires on-going access to records and facilities of the charter school. The school board has a great deal of oversight of the operations of the charter school as is appropriate since that's where the money comes from. If the school board does its job, they will see any problems coming ahead of time.

As for your concern about costs, the state provides some of the money for transitions to a charter school.

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Dec-19-13 10:19 AM


"Establishing a Charter School to educate 100 children is an expensive way to give a child an education when the district already has so many good programs; educationally, socially, and athletically."

You know you're over the target when you start getting flack.

My son was home schooled and he is anything but anti -social. As for athletically inclined? He wasn't, but then public schooling doesn't make one have an interest in sports or not. If he had wanted to participate in sports, he still would have been able to. As for educationally advantaged? Stats prove otherwise, with the general population of those home-schooled versus public schooling.

And no, it is not more expensive to charter-school a child. Pleas do some research on this and as in the LTR posted just this week on this same subject, with the same concerns, one must question why the alarm is sounding?

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Dec-19-13 10:24 AM

Texas, Perhaps Nippenose is starting to see the forrest from the trees. Charter schooling gives the rights back to the parents, which is where it was all along......just most parents did not realize it. Had parents held the districts and the teachers more accountable years ago, perhaps Charter wouldn't have gained the momentum it has. The NEA is a powerful lobby and union, but it is losing ground and we are seeing it from a local perspective.

Texas, have a very Merry Christmas! Is your church having a Cantata?

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Dec-19-13 11:09 AM

Don't worry the free-market will come to the rescue. Or not because the gov. is giving away tax dollars to crappy businesses in a nightmare state-socialist situation.

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Dec-19-13 12:16 PM

I just watched the hearing and I am shocked by the founders presentation. Why didn't they know how to serve the Special needs students, even I know that is important. Where were Steinbacher, Stahl, and Bierly's presentations? These people assured the Nippenose Valley voters that this would happen, not with what I just witnessed. Koch , Wasson, and Hinds better get to work changing some minds ASAP!!! OMG-- Janice and Helm gave more counter details in less time. I hope there is another hearing.

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Dec-19-13 1:13 PM

Well written letter...Mrs. Shireman Any-2000 Census, Limestone had 2136 and Bastress had 574 for a total of 2710 residents. I also watched the video and I saw empty seats and a handful of presenters. There is a difference between closing a local school with lots of emotion rolling vs. trying to form and create a new charter. There is NO support for this! They do not have 100 students rather 5-6. Maybe they could have a ratio of 1:1? The cost would be about $183,000.00 per student. Seriously folks-This will die for no other reason than the application itself.

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Dec-19-13 1:22 PM

Barking Bulldog-Another hearing would just waste everyone's time and money. If needed, I can bring a backhoe home from work and dig a whole to bury it.

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Dec-19-13 3:49 PM

This letter is perfectly written and lists the facts why the HORSE SH$T with some folks will end at the board level. If appealed at the State level, all the district has to do is submit the information from the Nippenose Valley School closure BECAUSE the application is sorely lacking reason! In fact, the district provides more educationally. The only thing the district doesn't provide is a central meeting place for the Valley folks at a cost to every taxpayer.

ValleyDad987- According to Lycoming County's 2013 records; Limestone 2019 and Bastress 546 for a total of 2,565 taxpaying residents. As for the rest of what you have written lately... glad to see this side.

Enigma-it doesn't matter where the money comes from, it is ALL taxpayer dollars.

Very good letter Janice <[@u@]>

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Dec-19-13 4:34 PM

One of the downsides of Nippenose Valley is that it has no walls and doors for classrooms. Many activities that involve movement, and noise are not possible because that would disturb the nearby classrooms. Avis has the same problem. Both schools were built when "open classrooms" was the big thing. Unfortunately, when the idea was brought over from England, it wasn't fully understood. Just removing walls doesn't make an open classroom.

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Dec-19-13 5:49 PM

Sorry, there is simply no need for what these women are selling in the Jersey Shore area. Repeat: "All of the details (lack there of) for this Charter can be found in its application. Nippenose Valley Elementary was the only school in the district that was not Title 1 and performed the lowest." From what I observed the other night, they had no idea how they were going to handle any students with needs.

Valleydad, weren't you one of the men who gave oxygen to the sparking ego's last year? I think you and Bulldog should have buried your hatchets a long time ago by opening your ears to the facts. Also, I hope you pay to use that back hoe especially since our sewage rates went up.

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Dec-19-13 5:56 PM

@enigma, actually the Sugar Valley Charter School had the lowest profile score in Clinton County, scoring 54.6/100. 70 or higher is considered a passing score.

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Dec-19-13 8:06 PM

CaveFelem- the Sugar Valley Rural Charter has the lowest score in Lycoming County too. I know there is a need for Charters in the inner city communities, but, not around here. Like I said weeks ago, no one is beating down the doors of SVRC to get in.

DavidBross, I think the open concept was to control discipline issues and to help hold students accountable for their behavior. This happened around the same time Corporal punishment was exiting the local schools. I don't know if anything good became of the experiment, maybe you could expand on the subject?

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Dec-19-13 9:07 PM


Thanks for the local insight; I didn't hear any contradictions!!



Merry Christmas to you and your family. As far as church, we have had special choir music one Sunday, kids choir another, and are planning a 6 & 8PM worships on Christmas Eve. Best wishes.

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Dec-19-13 9:14 PM


This is a joyous time of the year, actually joy is a given when you love the Lord! It's just such a special celebration and an even better one at Easter. We have hope!

Blessings to you and yours also and have a special day! Sounds like your church is youth focused - we have to pass the torch!

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Dec-19-13 9:16 PM

Mike, Merry Christmas to you and the family! Enjoy your day and especially the joy of who we celebrate! Yeah for Duck Dynasty, how about it! :)

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Dec-19-13 9:18 PM

Before I hit the golden stairs, I wanted to say that Janice and Shelly did a great job at speaking at the hearing. They knew what they had to address and were good with the facts. No emmotions, just numbers. I am very proud of you both.

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Dec-19-13 11:19 PM

Well, I did some research and there are at least two corporation getting corporate welfare from the politicians. It's state socialism. The Charter Schools Development Corporation" csdc**** and "Charter School Management Corporation" are profiting big time. The sad thing is that the students are doing even worse. Sadly, public education does a better job of raising test scores.

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Dec-19-13 11:21 PM

The best free-market solution for public education is Catholic, Parochial schools. There are also real free-markt schools. Like the one Obama sends his kids to. Charter Schools are not true free-market solutions. They take tax dollars from everyone.

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Dec-20-13 6:26 AM

Real...not quite....Obama sends his kiddies to a Quaker school...

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