Thursday, January 10, 2013
Langhorne Borough Council member Kathy Horwatt told the Neshaminy School Board Tuesday night that the council opposes the closing of Oliver Heckman Elementary.
Many residents and parents voiced their opposition to closing some elementary schools to the Neshaminy School Board Tuesday night, but they aren't the only ones against the potential closures. Langhorne Borough Councilwoman Kathy Horwatt urged the school board not to close Olive Heckman Elementary School, which is located Maple Avenue and Cherry Street in Langhorne Borough. Horwatt stated that the Borough Council has drafted and will approve a resolution formally opposing the closure of the Langhorne Borough elementary school. According to Bucks Local News, this resolution states that the decision to close Heckman based on declining enrollment "does not adequately recognize the actual use of the total school facilities ... and the …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The Neshaminy School Board approved a proposal preliminary budget Tuesday night for the 2013-14 school year.
In accordance with Act 1, the Neshaminy School Board unanimously approved the proposed preliminary budget for the 2013-2014 school year Tuesday night. The budget currently has a $11,439,001 deficit. Superintendent Robert Copeland assured the community that this is "very preliminary" and that he and district administrators will be taking a new approach to putting together the budget -- an approach he is bringing from his experience in previous school districts. "We’re taking a very close look at every single department and budget item," he stated, adding that he and the administration "really scrubbed the budget very thoroughly." "What you see here is a first run. We still have a lot of work to do," Copeland said. Business administrator …
A member of Neshaminy's Citizens Advisory Committee presented information to the school board and public about possibly school closures.
Members of the Neshaminy community and school board Pete Spera, a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, presented what the committee looked at in terms of enrollment trends and what the group's final recommendation to the school board was Tuesday night. When presented with two options for school closures and consolidations, the committee went with a third, or hybrid, option of the two. The ultimately recommended closing three elementary schools (Lower Southampton, Oliver Heckman and Samuel Everitt), building a new elementary school at the current Tawanka site on Brownsville Road and adding a larger addition to Pearl Buck Elementary School. This addition, Spera said, would give Neshaminy flexibility when it comes to redistricting as …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The Neshaminy School Board will meet Tuesday night and consider approving a preliminary budget for the next school year.
The Neshaminy School Board will begin its budget process Tuesday night by considering approving a proposed preliminary budget for the 2013-2014 school year. This is just an initial step in adopting a final budget and being done in accordance with Act 1. The budget will be a topic of discussion at board meetings until a final budget it adopted by the end of June 2013. In addition, at Tuesday's work session, the school board will consider approving two overnight trips. Superintendent Robert Copeland will give his report, which is typically announcing good news within the district. The meeting will be held at Maple Point Middle School at 7 p.m. Visit the Neshaminy School District website to view the full agenda for the meeting.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb said that the teachers union made a "terrible mistake" by not voting on the board's latest contract offer.
In their Wednesday night meeting, members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers did not vote to accept the Neshaminy School Board's latest contract offer. This action, school board President Ritchie Webb said, the NFT "may have made a terrible mistake in judgement." "While trying to hold onto the past, they are gambling with their future," he stated. According to a NFT press release issued Wednesday night, union members accepted the negotiation team's recommendation to not take action on the school board's offer, "with an overwhelmingly majority of those at the meeting rejecting a motion calling for a formal vote on the school district’s offer." Accepting the school board's "final offer" would eliminate several contract provisions "that…
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers did not vote on the school board's "final offer" Tuesday night, but union members want to continue negotiating with the board on remaining issues.
Nearly 400 members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers met Wednesday night where leaders shared with them the details of the Neshaminy School Board's "final offer." During that meeting, NFT members accepted the negotiation team's recommendation to not take action on the school board's offer, "with an overwhelmingly majority of those at the meeting rejecting a motion calling for a formal vote on the school district’s offer," as stated in a union press release. The school board's offer, which is based on the Council Rock's contract, would eliminate several contract provisions "that are key to educational quality in the Neshaminy School District." Some of those provisions include equal say and past practice -- two items that school board …
Friday, December 28, 2012
In a letter to the editor, Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb is urging NFT President Louise Boyd to allow union members to vote on the board's "final offer."
During the last negotiation session between the Neshaminy School Board and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers, the mediator told the board's negotiation team that the union would be bringing the board's "final offer" before the rank and file teachers for a vote. However, NFT President Louise Boyd said later that the union "never said anything to that effect" and that no vote was planned. She stated that the union leaders would review the offer, which is based on the Council Rock contract, and share and discuss it with NFT members. Now, school board President Ritchie Webb is urging the NFT to reconsider letting its member vote on the offer in the following letter to the editor: "She is denying them an opportunity to vote on a contract that …
Friday, December 21, 2012
NFT President Louise Boyd said that the union does not plan to put the school board's "final offer" up for a vote with its members.
Following the last negotiation session, Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb said in a statement that a state mediator told the school board negotiation team that the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers would be bringing the final offer before the rank and file teachers for a vote. However, NFT President Louise Boyd said the union "never said anything to that effect." "What we did say at the last negotiating session was that we will review the board's offer and we will share and discuss it with our members -- we never said anything about a vote and we have no idea why Webb would say such a thing," Boyd stated. In a message to members and a letter sent today to community partners, NFT leaders announced plans for a Jan. 2 membership …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The NFT leadership will bring the Neshaminy School Board's "final offer" before the rank and file teachers for a vote.
During what the Neshaminy School Board called "perhaps the most productive negotiation session ever," the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers informed them that the board's "final offer" will be brought before the rank and file teachers for a vote. According to school board President Ritchie Webb, this final offer is based on the Council Rock School District contract. If the union members approve this offer, the school board will release the details of its proposal to the public for review and comment and will then vote on the proposal at a public meeting. However, if the offer is not approved by NFT membership, the board will withdraw the proposal. "The fate of these negotiations now rests solely with the NFT. The decision to end this …
Monday, December 10, 2012
Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb discusses
Monday, December 10, 2012
Editor's note: The following letter was submitted to Patch by Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb. Neshaminy residents are already aware of the "equal say" doctrine within our teacher’s contract and how that practice is used to protect the status quo, often to the detriment of our students and district. However, there is another aspect to the contract that is often overlooked by the public even though it every bit as powerful, if not more so, than equal say. The other contractual issue I am referring to is past practice, which in combination with equal say is what gives the NFT de facto veto power over administration. “Section 11-1: Except as this Agreement shall otherwise provide, all terms and conditions of employment …