Quakertown school redistricting will be reviewed but will not be carried out for at least another year according to district officials, despite strong recent backlash.
“We’ll have the current imbalance for another year,” said school board president Paul Stepanoff at Thursday’s meeting.
Quakertown Superintendent Dr. William Harner assured the audience that despite the lag in response time, the district will continue to evaluate current protocols for redistricting, as well as school start times and transportation costs.
Parents have voiced strong opposition to the current state of affairs at a string of recent town hall meetings.
Community members heavily criticized the districting system in place that many claim has caused neighbors to attend different schools.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that families and communities would rather stay as families and communities,” said Stepanoff. “We promise the parents that we’ll look at that policy.”
At a February 4th public meeting, parents also expressed concern that delayed start times were causing students to receive less instructional time.
Thursday night board officials revealed that the sum of instructional time lost by every student in the district in 2013-14 added up to 272,520 minutes, or three full school years.
On average, Upper Bucks County Technical School students are receiving five fewer minutes of instruction time a day than Pennridge students, and 20 minutes less than those of Palisade.
“Within a month or so we would bring back to the public the discussion about start time with fact sheets and information,” said Harner.
District transportation costs totaling about four million dollars a year have also raised eyebrows around the community.
“That’s over four percent of your budget,” said the Quakertown superintendent. “We’re going to look at how we do our routes and see if we can economize.”
“All of that will be done sometime before the next year,” said board president Stepanoff.
The Quakertown school board’s next voting meeting will be on March 13th.