ALIGNMENT OF DISTRICT EXPENSES TO ENROLLMENT
Enrollment has declined from a peak of 1,926 students in grades K-12 in 2008-09 to 1,598 in K-12 in 2018-19, a decline of 17%
Enrollment projections done by the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) in 2018 project further declines:
down 18.75% in the next 5 years (about 300 fewer students)
Further declines for a total from current levels of 27% over the next 10 years
The enrollment numbers in the past few years include about 45-55 pre-school children, not in the enrollment from the peak in FY 2009. The NESDEC study includes only K-12, not PreK.
NKTA supported passage of the Warrant Article to remove the word 'elementary' from the District Agreement, for freedom to plan optimal use of our 5 campuses. This warrant article passed by more than the required 2/3 majority, so the District is now able to plan for and implement grade configurations that the Superintendent has said will provide for best practices in educational delivery and can reduce taxpayer costs significantly.
ADEQUACY OF PAY AND BENEFITS
NKTA supports competitive pay to attract and retain quality employees for best outcomes for students and towns
NKTA supports increasing employee contributions to insurance premiums; currently town employees contribute 25% and District staff contribute only 10%, whereas higher rates prevail in national and other state government and private-sector jobs.
We compete for our staff with other Districts. The staff contracts just passed in March 2019 offer increases in line with inflation, while breaking the ceiling of the 90% contribution rate, a huge step for aligning pay and benefits.
IMPROVEMENT IN LITERACY
Sanborn children are graduating with literacy for many below NH averages per standardized test results
NKTA supports the Administration's new emphasis on improving literacy in K-3
NKTA supports the free training the High School children are getting to prepare them for the state-mandated standardized tests
IMPROVEMENT IN MATH OUTCOMES
Sanborn children are finishing high school with 70% lacking math proficiency according to the state-mandated standardized tests, far below state averages
NKTA supports the recent attention being paid to improving the math results for the children in the District
TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT IN DISTRICT AND TOWNS
Video of town and District School Board and Budget Committee meetings is now available in both towns and on the District website
Minutes reflect the votes taken as prescribed by law
NKTA supports compliance with the Right-To-Know Law of New Hampshire
NKTA opposes any electioneering by School District employees
SETTING SPECIFIC MEASURABLE GOALS
NKTA supports the setting of goals, and holding elected leaders and employees accountable for meeting them
NKTA supports thorough examination of all line items in every proposed budget
NKTA does not believe new expenses should be added to existing budget levels. Instead, each line item should be justified annually, or removed
RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT OF TAXPAYER ASSETS
NKTA supports resolution of the vacant Seminary building
NKTA supports responsible maintenance of town and District buildings
NKTA will be examining the NESDEC study of District facilities and enrollment for specfic recommendations and looks forward to the Superintendent's report that will be issued in the Spring of 2019.
RETURN OF UNSPENT YEAR-END BUDGET
NKTA opposes past School Board practices of using appropriated money unspent at year-end for items not in the original approved budget.
Past year-end spending sprees have stopped in the past three years thanks to increased transparency and voter response.
In 2018, a one-time extra return resulted in a lowering of school taxes.
NKTA supports the transparency of returning all unexpended funds, rather than year-end retention which could disguise actual tax impact of new budgets and staff contracts.