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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cedarburg Allows Parents to CHOOSE

Way to go, Cedarburg.....

Go Cedarburg!

476 Wisconsin School Districts have spent the last 6 months trying to comply with the state's Healthy Youth Act. The law mandates topics to be included IF the district plans to offer Human Growth and Development. All are related to sex education with only an "age appropriate" nod to growth and development.

The law passed because it did protect local school district control and parents rights (opt-out clause). Willing to accept their victory, the bill's proponents are now getting a lesson in what "local control" means. They either didn't do their homework or believed their interpreatation of the law, the "intent", was more legal than the actual words.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Charter School Gets Community Support

Excellent column by Owen today:

Charter school worth exploring in West Bend

    There is a proposal before the West Bend School Board to create a charter school in the district. It’s a proposal worthy of serious consideration.

    Charter schools are not new to Wisconsin. There are over 220 charter schools in the state. Charter schools are simply schools that are chartered – i.e. contracted – by a chartering authority to provide education with taxpayer dollars but are absolved of having to comply to many of the regulations that burden traditional public schools.

    Charter schools also, because they are not shackled by as many stringent state regulations, offer school districts the opportunity to be innovative. Charter schools in Wisconsin specialize in technology, arts, the environment, math, science, at-risk, direct instruction, virtual and any number of other specializations while still offering the core curriculum required for all public school kids. 


Second, the financials of a charter school may prove to be a net benefit to the district. The way school funding works, the money follows the student. For each student that enters the district, the district receives about $9,100 of funding. The proposed charter school is estimating a cost of about $8,000 to educate each student. In other words, for each net new student added to the district, the district would receive a net “profit” of about $1,100 to be added to the general budget


Crossroads Academy seems to offer everything for which the district is striving. Educational flexibility. Relief from state mandates. Freedom from the confines of a unionized work force. Financial security. There are a few more details to gather, but all signs are that the School Board would provide an excellent service to the citizens of the district by exploring this opportunity. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

West Bend Library celebrates....GAY HISTORY MONTH?

Now, generally the West Bend Community Memorial Library runs nice little pieces in the West Bend Daily News showcasing book recommendations and activities.  I must have missed the article on GLBTQ Month.  Oh, wait.  I don't think our library publicized that.  But it is certainly there for all your kids to see.  Book after book of homosexual YA selections.  Books with sexually explicit materials right there, enticing your child.  My, we have gotten bold, haven't we?  I know that the "A" word is a bit harsh, but I have to say it.  It appears our library is doing what we thought all along. Advocating.  

Here we have something more than just literature.  We have advertising (another "A" word) for the Trevor Helpline for GLBTQ youth/minors.  (For those who don't know the code, GLBTQ stands for gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/questioning.)

Here's a YA (young adult) homosexual book being encouraged to minors in the Gay History Month display:

These are all Young Adult homosexual books for minors.  Do I sense another "A" word coming on?  
Could it be........agenda?

This Facebook info states the primary mission of the group is to "promote" GLBTQ information.  Indeed.  And our library just happens to facilitate!

Let's toss in homosexual materials for the little children, too.  You know, the ones that can't even read yet.

How about exposing those bullied celebrities, too.  Really get our point across.  Nice display, YA Zone!

So here you have it....many of the sexually explicit books not only in your YA Zone, but promoted by your very own library.  

Parents, please accompany your children and know what is being shoved in their faces.  Realize that your library is NOT A SAFE PLACE.  Children are being exploited every day, and not just on the streets, in the inner cities, or on school playgrounds.  It's right in your own public library.  BE FOREWARNED.

Naturally, the "H" word and "B" word will be slung my way shortly.  (homophobe and bigot)  Not so, dear ones.  I just have an aversion to pornographic sex acts being shotgunned out to minor children.  You know, like most of the nation.  The ones that actually use ratings to alert parents to impending inappropriate materials.  But we wouldn't want to step on a minors "right" to free speech, now, would we?  ;-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

School Board Continues Discussion on Charter School - Taking it to DPI

What was supposed to be a one-hour discussion on the proposed Crossroads Academy charter school with a vote to pursue, or not to pursue, turned into a three-hour debate over numbers.

Both Joe Carlson and Kris Beaver insisted the Charter School must have success GUARANTEED in two years; otherwise, they would not approve. 

Lest they forget:

Living Word Lutheran (Jackson) opened in 2001 with 39 students, 2002 -2003 = 81 students, 2003-2004 = 102, 2004-2005=131, 2005-2006=153, 2006-2007=157, 2007-2008=162, 08-09 = 166, 09-10= 145 and then in the midst of a recession Living Word bounces back 2010-2011 = 194.

And Kettle Moraine Lutheran, who opened with 9th & 10th grades only in 1974 with 35 students; in 1980 = 230, 1994 = 315, 199=390, and 2010=400.

*Proof that West Bend parents do, indeed, want a CHOICE.
Ted Neitzke had spelling and math mistakes in his presentation (several mistakes).. NO MISTAKES by Pastor Dunford and his reps.  Just sayin'.

Pat Herdrich stated,  "The challenge of entering a fixed contract with the assumptions (enrollment & state aid, etc) and the actual (numbers) haven't happened the way they were projected from the state."   (Convenient that now state numbers are inaccurate when we're constantly bombarded with unsubstantiated numbers that the district is growing)

Picture this:  Joe Carlson jabbing the pastor for not outing his school location and the perceived accusations that the church will be the site and the pastor will pocket a lot of $$$$.  Pastor denied all accusations and then Joe threw them out there again and appeared to insinuate the pastor was lying.  Shame.

Pat Herdrich, et al, harped on Pastor Dunford to come up with solid numbers, yet they spent one hour listening to Ted Neitzke rattle off ESTIMATES.  How does that work?

The FAB FOUR:  Stepanski, Weigand, Marquardt and Koenig - All kept the conversation going with positives that were being ignored by Carlson, Beaver and Miller.

The gem quote for the night came from Joe Carlson:

" I don't agree with Charter school because it's a short cut with Lutherans & Catholics using taxpayer money. It's private school disguised as a charter school".

The obvious included:
1.  Pat Herdrich attempting to hijack the charter school idea with an instrumentality (district-controlled) school suggestion and.....
2.  Kris Beaver's drama over the curriculum which had been given in outline form to the board by Pastor Dunford when everything else had failed and....
3.  The District's attempts to stall the entire process, refusing to accept financial information from Pastor Dunford's team because they did not get their information from the same DPI personnel  and, therefore, their numbers did not coincide.  As Ted kindly pointed out, this was because there were those that "went to the DPI for answers" as opposed to those who "WORK for the DPI".  Nice way to say that he thinks the charter school team is full of it.

I'll leave you with this to ponder:
Kris Beaver made mention of the "values-based" education references in the Crossroads Academy literature, and demanded to know what the Academy would teach about values that were not already being taught at the existing public schools.  Yeah, he actually did.

Celebrity attendees:  Waring Fincke (who, for some reason, kept hiding behind a pole from my blatantly obvious videotaping session) and Bob/Barb Deters.  Interesting: Barb Deters was knitting something throughout the entire session.  She made pretty good headway, too, from what I could see!

FINAL OUTCOME:  Pat Herdrich insisted that Pastor Dunford's team go along with Ted Neitzke to the DPI and work on numbers....AGAIN.  No vote was taken concerning the charter school.

I'll be adding some video of the meeting shortly.  Check back in a while if you're interested.

UPDATE:  Camera problems.  Sorry 'bout that.  

Someone emailed me a comment as the posts are not working today:  Found it amusing:

Mrs. Deters knitting during the discussion? Sort of like the woman in A Tale of Two Cities knitting while heads were rolling in the French Revolution, or Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Charter School Garnering Support - MEETING THIS MONDAY - Plan to attend...

This letter is now circulating in the community.  It gives a great explanation of the new Charter School being proposed in the West Bend School District.  Seems some of the Board have ruffled feathers over this (while others are wholeheartedly supporting it).  It is a great idea and a fine opportunity for parents to have a choice.  Visit the Charter School website here:  http://crossroadswb.org/

More information on time and meeting location will be posted as soon as it is available!  PLAN TO ATTEND and LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

**UPDATE:  Meeting time is 5 p.m. at the Board Room in the Education Services Center.  This building is the OLD AMITY BUILDING.  Enter in front, go down the steps to the Board Room.  There are generally signs in the hallway.  The public will not be allowed to speak.  Come and show your support.


October 13, 2010

Dear Friend

By now you may have heard that I have petitioned the West Bend School District for permission to start a charter school in our community.  Well it is true!  For many years, I have been burdened about the education options available to our children.  While the West Bend School District has many fine teachers and wonderful facilities, they have not been able to maintain the quality and values that are important to many parents.  But there have been few options available. The cost of private education tuition, plus the taxes you are required to pay to fund public education have made private education prohibitive to most families.  For many, the only alternative was home schooling or virtual school.  But this is not an option for everyone. 

We believe that a window of opportunity is open for us to create a privately-managed, publically-funded, charter school that upholds the standards, values and educational quality that are important to us all.  I have petitioned the West Bend School Board for approval to open a non-instrumentality charter school in the fall of 2011.  Our petition will be presented before the full school board on October 18th and I need your help. 

Please contact your school board and indicate your support of this venture.  I am including their names and contact information below.  Let others know.  Public support is crucial in gaining the approval of our school board.  It is your tax money and you should have the option to educate your child in a manner consistent with your values and concerns. 

The enclosed fact sheet might address the questions or objections some have regarding a charter school.

Your school board members are:
·         Joe Carlson jcarlson@west-bend.k12.wi.us  334-1042 
·         Tim Stepanski  tstepanski@west-bend.k12.wi.us  334-0775
·         Kris Beaver  kbeaver@west-bend.k12.wi.us  306-2602   
·         Bruce Koenig  bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us  335-2408 
·         Todd Miller tmmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us 306-2604
·         Randy Marquardt rmarquardt@west-bend.k12.wi.us  306-2601
·         Dave Weigand  dweigand@west-bend.k12.wi.us  334-2984


Thank you for your support.


Bruce Dunford, President
Crossroads Academy Inc.

Questions you may have about a charter school:

What is a charter school?
A charter school is a tuition-free public school created on the basis of a contract or “charter” between the school district and the school.  Charter schools are nonsectarian public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools.   The “charter” establishing such school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, goals, students served, and methods of assessment.

What is a non-instrumentality charter school?
A non-instrumentality charter school differs from an instrumentality charter school in the manner of administration.  A non-instrumentality school is one that is not administered by the school district.  Its teaching staff are not members of the teacher’s union and are not eligible for the state retirement system and its administration is separate from the administration of the authorizing district.

Where is the accountability of a charter school? 
A non-instrumentality charter school has three levels of accountability:  The local school board reviews the test results of the charter school every year.  If the charter school fails to produce notable results in the education of the students, the school board can refuse to renew the contract.  Additionally, the state DPI reviews the test results and holds the charter school accountable.  But the greatest accountability is to the parent.  If the charter school fails to meet expectations or fails to produce a notable difference in the education of their students, the parent has the option of removing their child from Crossroads and enrolling him/her in the public school of choice.

How is a charter school funded?
A charter school is funded by education tax dollars, the same as any public school. Your school district receives revenues from local property taxes and from the state through the state funding formula. Currently, the West Bend School District receives a total of $10,766.00 per student on average 1.  In the case of a new student coming into the district, the district receives over $9,100 in new state aid (i.e. no effect on property taxes). This state aid is phased in over three years. In the first year of a new student’s enrollment the district would receive over $3,000.00. This would increase the second year and reach the maximum the third and subsequent years. Conversely, the same is true for a student leaving the West Bend School District.

The charter school negotiates a cost per student rate with the district which then becomes the operating income for the charter school. The difference between what the school district receives ($10,766.00) and the charter school charges (say, $8,000.00) remains with the school district (in this illustration, $2,766.00 per student).

Is there a cost to the school district?
No, and yes, depending on the amount contracted per student and the enrollment status of student enrolling in the charter school.
Let's say a student who is a district resident, but not previously enrolled in a district school (i.e. home schools or private schools), enrolls in a charter school for one year. The district would pay the charter school an average of $8,000, but would receive about $9,100 in new state aid over three years, for a gain to the district of $1,100.
A student who lives outside the district but enrolls in the school would generate $6,498 in revenue for the district, and the charter school would educate the student for $6,498 minus a 2% administrative fee for the district, generating $130 for the district for each student open enrolling in the district. (Currently, West Bend loses $1,102,999.40 in state aid due to students transferring outside the district rather than staying inside the district. Theoretically, if the 194 students who transfer out would enroll in Crossroads Academy, the District would gain $25,220.

A student who is a district resident and previously enrolled in a district school, will not cost the district since the district's enrollment count would not change.

The district may or may not be able reduce their existing staff and facility cost depending on the number and grades of students who enroll in the charter school, so it may be unfair to say that the district actually gains financially by losing students to the charter school. However, as the charter school increases in enrollment the district will realize a decrease in crowding and pressure to build additional schools or classrooms and to add additional teachers resulting in a tremendous savings to the district. 

The long-term financial benefit to the district is tremendous.