May 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
Stats show surge in children
WEST FARGO While 27-year-old Medora Roehl was growing up, this city didn’t have the best reputation. Continue Reading
Tags: West Fargo 36 Comments »
The numbers reported in this article should open some eyes and convince people the urgent need for new schools. We also have to remember that these are not the only kids that will be going or already going to West Fargo schools. There is also a significant section of South Fargo that goes to West Fargo schools as well. All the land south of 40th ave and west of 45th st south is in the WF school district. This large track of developable land, protected by the WF diversion continues south past the City of Horace and obviously includes Horace which was reported as having the one of the largest percentage increases in population in the state. If you add all this up you can see why we are predicting kindergarten classes next year of 700-800 kids compared to a graduating class of 500. Please take time to look at the facts. Go on the the West Fargo schools website and click on 2011 bond icon on the bottom left. Get informed and then get out and vote YES on May 24. Remember anyone over 18 that lives in the WF school district can vote not just those in the City of WF.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 16
Or those that are in Fargo city limits can go to the Fargo school system and free up West Fargo’s class rooms and fill up Fargo’s schools that are becoming vacant. But that would mean a drop in property taxes going to West Fargo’s schools as they would be shifted to Fargo’s schools.
Hot debate. What do you think? 28 28
Not a drop in property taxes… a drop in state-paid tuition.
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If this is the same Dave Olson who is a WF school board member then why didn’t you disclose that in your rant as it would show your bias. If you are the school board member your lack of disclosure shows that the WF school board and administration preach/talk openess, transparency but practice something completely different. Its that lack of honest/integrity/transparancy and the fact that the bond issue does not identify the true costs, the wording of the bond issue compared to what is said in public meetings and the comments of the school board president who indicated on WDAY that this wording give the board “flexibility” that have me voting NO – I for one think they are trying to eliminate the voice of the people. If you are the school board member, why not fully disclose that? If you aren’t then I apologize.
Read the wording of the bond issue carefully, listen to what is being said in the media and you will see a disconnect. and if you are willing to give the board a “blank check” and take out the citizinery input in future building plans then vote yes. If the board/administration want honest/transparency then be honest/transparent with the public – to date you have failed on this.
I urge a NO Vote – lets band together and stop this – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Vote-No-West-Fargo-School-Board-Referendum-May-24-2011/134799123258852
Hot debate. What do you think? 32 40
yes, vote no, because why should our kids be able to compete in education? Why should anyone smart come from ND? hell, why have school after 8th grade, that would free up tons of classrooms!
Hot debate. What do you think? 19 12
Vote NO because of the lack of trust/honesty/transparency from the board and the administration – the kids are doing fine right now, none of them are falling behind. Show me the statistics where WF has fallen behind because of the school buildings.
If you would have gone to the meetings, a common theme was not to build elaborate schools but practical schools – that has seemed to fall on deaf ears. People want the board to spend our money wisely and to involve the public in the decision process, by giving them a blank check (they don’t have to build the second school if the numbers aren’t there but they still have the authority to tax and assess the citizens at their whim by the way the bond is written) .
When the students in the US are compared against other countries they isn’t any comparison on the design/fancy structures where they were taught, they are compared on academics.
One parent was concerned when she took her daughter to the S.T.E.M center for the first time and the building didn’t look as nice as Cheney – that is the problem, people are more concerned about what a building looks like on the outside than was is going on inside the building – we are a materialistic society and its sad to say there are many many in WF who have the same mentality.
Vote NO because the school board want to take away the voice of the citizens on whether or not the second elementary school is necessary or where to spend the up to $11 million extra they have built into this bond referendum. You may trust them to do the right thing, I don’t!!
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 29
Whatever school district you live in is who gets your property taxes dedicated to the schools. So if WF kids go to Fargo schools, WF still gets the property tax money and Fargo would get the state funding money. North of Fargo, Northen Cass gets about 20% of their students from outside their district with most coming from the WF district(Harwood). Of the 20 new open enrolled students for the fall of 2011, 18 are coming from the WF district and 16 of those are kindergarten students.
Interesting that the Harwood area has voted strongly against the WF building projects the last two times, but they are more than happy to send their kids to a school outside their own district.
Like or Dislike: 15 7
Harwood is in the WF school district so that is why they vote and if they do send their kids to others schools then they have to pay additional costs and why do they send their kids to another district? Is it perhaps because they know the WF school district is not all the good? It would be interesting to see your response!
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And the WF diversion dumps water right on them and floods them for over a month
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The majority of property tax is school funding. So West Fargo will loose all the funding for those west of I-29 if they were to go to Fargo schools that’s a large drop in funding as well as kids from there system, so more loss of state funding there too. But it will fix there worries about not having enough room to grow and will also fix the fact that Fargo has empty class rooms.
Like or Dislike: 7 8
Yep, that makes sense. I’m sure the people living in the Osgood area would be more than happy to send their kids to schools with empty class rooms in North Fargo. Or maybe you don’t realize that Fargo has it’s own crowding issues with it’s southside schools.
Like or Dislike: 10 7
Redraw some boundaries and I bet those classrooms would be equal all across the board. Fargo has been discussing that too as of lately.
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There is no cost to switch and go to a school outside your district. ND went to open enrollment over 5 years ago. So you need only to apply and get approved by the accepting district. Northern Cass even sends a bus to Harwood free of charge. Whether NC is a better school than WF is a good question that could be debated endlessly.
I just think its interesting Harwood votes against the building projects while they send a bunch of kids to a different school outside of their district at the same time.
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Mr. Olson is using his real name; I don’t know how anyone could argue he is not being transparent.
People need to understand that school districts are separate political subdivisions. Those Fargo residences living in the West Fargo School District do not have a choice where their property tax dollars go. If they use open enrollment to send their kids to school in Fargo, their property taxes still go to the school district the home is physically located. It is true the State funding follows the student, but not the local property taxes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 4
I don’t live in West Fargo but if I did there is no way I would vote for this. People need to get out and vote no to show government they can’t trick the public. The proposal gives too much flexibility to the school board and city. If it passes people will be scratching their heads 10 years from now when there is 1 new school that costs $100 million and then they will build 2 more after raising taxes again. It happens every single time a city votes for this kind of thing. It will happen in Moorhead too. The 4% property tax increase school referendum that passed this year will make everyone mad when they build one school and then use the rest to increase teacher pay and hire more teachers. Moorhead used the argument that other cities in MN similar in size have double the funding for their schools. All that shows is other cities spent more money than they had. Fiscal responsibility people!
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 29
Investing in children is bad. Everyone knows costs will go down if they wait to build schools. Besides, no one wants young families moving in and buying homes. More schools equals more jobs and worse yet, more teachers whining for raises. A healthy community is an aged community with no money wasted on schools and such.
Oh, I’m being sarcastic.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 19
I am a school board member and I do not see that I have any bias whatsoever. In fact I think it is the exact opposite. Before running for school board I voted NO on the the last 2 bonds! So coming on as a new board member I leaned towards being very skeptical but still trying to keep an open mind. With being a board member I have had the opportunity to spend countless hours attending committee meetings, community facility task force meetings, community input meetings, and faculty meetings trying to plan and project for all these current and new students that will be attending WF schools. I also have had the opportunity to walk thru every school building we have as the school day is happening! This includes overcrowded lunch rooms, hallways, classrooms, parking lots, gyms, and theaters! By being part of the these processes and many more I can tell you with absolute truth that out of our 13 current schools we have now we are either currently or will be within 4 years of exceeding the maximum capacity of all those buildings except for 2 grade schools: Berger and Harwood which are either on the far north end of our district or right in the middle. Most of our new growth areas of the district our south of I94 and currently we have only 2 grade schools and one 9th grade academy that serves those high growth areas. The 3rd year 09/10 that the newest of those 2 schools (Aurora elementary) was opened it was full and still is today. With all this info and time involved I have been absolutely convinced that we are at a crisis situation for a need of new schools. Now I have been lucky to be so heavily involved in the process primarily because of being skeptical and I know most taxpayers don’t possibly have the time to be as closely involved as me. But I will tell you straight out there is no way I would have made the motion for this bond and voted yes at a board level for this unless I was completely convinced that it is needed. Hopefully people out there will keep an open mind and look at the facts and projections that our facing us. I grew up and went to school in WF and have lived here for 35 years. Someone including those that didn’t even have kids in the school district paid school taxes and or bonds for me and my schools that I went to now it is time for me as well as others to do the same. I remember when I was in school we were begging for kids to attend our district and now famalies and kids our flocking here and they need and require the same things that I did 35 years ago! I would also like to inform people that we do not take these decisions lightly. We have exhausted many methods over the years to deal with these large increases in students including: adding on and upgrading 3 elementary schools (south, westside, and berger), adding on to the current high school, building 9th grade academy to eleviate overcrowing of the high school, revamping the old high school so we can put 260 kids in it with our stem program to temporarily fix our middle school overcrowding issues, and creating two kindergarten centers (the osgood kindergarten cneter on the south side even has 1st graders in it with 180 more to go there next year) to try and alleviate all the overcrowding of our elementary schools! So you put all this info and more together and person starts to hopefully realize it is time for us to step up and vote YES on May 24th!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 9
OK, so whats your take on sending those in Fargo that are west of I-29 back to Fargo schools instead of West Fargo?
Wouldn’t that help out on the crowding of the schools? Also wouldn’t that help Fargo fill there schools that are getting vacant?
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Thank you for at least finally coming clean and showing your bias one way or another. As an elected official I would think that you would have mentioned that in your first post, but instead you chose to exclude that to make it seem like you are not part of the board pushing this plan instead you wanted to appear as just an average citizen. Is that being open/honest/transparent like we keep hearing from the board/administration?? In fact at the information sessions, both the superintendent and the board president keep saying they want to be open/transparent. This shows to me that you don’t trust the citizens of WF and do in deed want a blank check.
See how you admitting your connection has led to other questions such as the one from montec – I would hope/expect transparency from elected offcials but am quite skeptical at this juncture.
Hot debate. What do you think? 33 41
I would say he was quite transparent there and explained thing very well. I am assuming you do not have kids, do you.
Like or Dislike: 20 6
Its not whether or not I have kids that is the issue, its about the dishonesty and lack of transparency I have seen displayed by the board/administration.
He is only being transparent after someone called him on it and I thanked him for that – he wasn’t transparent at the outset and that shows a lack of character and makes me wonder what else they are trying to pull over our eyes.
So what if I do have kids and felt this way – what if I was raising my kids to be honest, and forthcoming would that make any difference.
Since we are making assumptions here, I assume you may only be voting “YES” to be selfish for your kids and you may also be teaching you kids its OK not to be totally honest in your dealings – after all getting what we want is all that matters no matter what – see how easily assumptions (rightly or wrongly can be made).
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 27
How would voting yes on this teach kids to be selfish and dishonest? Please, make that leap of logic for all of us.
So it is wrong for us to want our kids to be competitive with the rest of the country or the rest of the world? Are you saying it is ok if our kids are barely smart enough to pump gas?
Like or Dislike: 1 2
If you are concerned about transparency, at least use your own, full name in your posts to be consistent…I am assuming that Liberty is a screen name. Maybe it is your first name, but to be consistent if you are going to complain about a lack of transparency for others who are using their full name, you should practice what you preach…
I think it is fairly obvious in Dave’s first post that he is on the school board. If he wanted to, he could have picked a nickname and hid. By using his real name, I think he is being transparent.
I teach in the district, live in West Fargo, and was on the long range planning committee. You can disagree with the plan, parts of the plan, etc… I think most people agree with need for space in light of data such as what is discussed in the article. I personally think the plan has much more good than bad. As such, I hope that you would consider all options in voting and not be so closed to the possibility of voting yes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 3
Some of us were wise enough to vote YES on the last 2 referendums–the numbers are real and I believed them then–as I do now. I am glad Mr. Olson finally realized this, and I hope others do too. Too many people made the last two votes about the Superintendant of Schools at that time, and other such pettiness. I attended many of the informational sessions, and it was crystal clear–but people still wanted to act like they were not informed. Well, if people were not informed–it was because they had their own petty agenda, and chose to not accept responsibility for interpreting the facts. People need to get real–the kids are HERE–and there are more on the way–this needs to get done NOW!
Like or Dislike: 19 6
And you didn’t have your “own” petty agenda when you voted NO. It seems that all the “YES” voters find it acceptable to ridicule those who may think differently as noted by some of their comments – (i.e. Siberian assuming I don’t have kids, you labeling people who don’t agree with you as petty) – that I find despicable in trying to debate.
Since you brought up the issue – what was your petty agenda in voting “YES” – if the NO voters had a petty agenda, the its safe to assume the YES voters did as well!!
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 27
I voted on the issues of the referendum–not whether I liked Dr. Diesal-Wallace. That is what I was referring to with regard to “pettiness”–as you obviously didn’t read my post–where I actually stated that. Make it about the issues–not a popularity contest! So, as you can attack me by trying to put words in my mouth–I did not say anything about people being petty for disagreeing with me. Why don’t you read it with an open mind instead of jumping to conclusions and showing your paranoia. I did not “label” anyone for simply disagreeing with me–as you put it. PETTY is to ignore all the facts and to cling to a single opinion that is unrelated to the issue—the truth be damned. Look it up in the dictionary!
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@David Olson Please don’t give up! I didn’t make it to your meetings but I appreciate what you’re doing for the community and so do a lot of other people. Devils Lake had to ask the public to raise taxes to build onto an elementary school due to overcrowding and the vote had to fail a few times before it passed. The school board nearly gave up but gave it one final go and really got out to educate the public and it finally passed.
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Liberty how about you walk through the West Fargo schools during a typical school day and report back what you see?? I’m sure that Dave Olson would personally give you a tour of all the facilities. As I have been in many of the buildings myself during the schools days, I am fairly confident that you would at the very least agree that more space is needed for the students. After the tour, it is obviously your choice to still vote no, but I would hope that you have your own ideas to fix the problems that will not go away any time soon. Then I would hope that you would do what Dave Olson did and run to be on the school board or at least try to become even more involved in the future.
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There very well may be a need for the schools – I’m voting no on principle of lack of honesty/transparency with the wording of the bond issue in regards to what is being said in public. In my opinion, the board wants to take remove the citizens voices in future building/spending of taxpayer resources.
Ridicule me all you want, but respect the fact that my stand is a principled stance just like I respect your decision to vote the way you want – call me names all you want. I have been told to read others posts with an open mind and I have but I encourage others to read my posts with an open mind as well. You may very well be willing to give them a pass and a blank check to do what they want in the future, I’m not. If it passes, I will live with it and deal with it, but I’m just not going to roll over and give them their way without at least voicing my concern. Some of you may be willing to do that, I’m not.
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Liberty that’s fine that you want to vote no, but what’s your solution to the problem then??
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Staggering the school days (even the WF district has this listed as an option but haven’t tried it – why not try it) , year round schooling (like they do in other states thus staggering students (have seen how it works in CO first hand and it does indeed work)) – there is some overlap), not having schools in every neighborhood, renting empty space from Fargo (as mentioned before this is part of the WF contingency plan), portable classrooms (also part of the WF contingency plan).
Honesty and transparency from the school board and the administration is the main point.
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Sounds like you have at least thought about this before hand and for that I do applaud you. Every single one of those options costs money. I wonder how they, especially the first two, stack up against building new buildings?? Year round schooling, in particular, is going to cost a heck of a lot more than what you think it might. I do wonder how they chose who gets stuck going to school during the summer, and who has their semester off during Jan-whenever the snow melts. Around here that would suck.
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I have a feeling that people like Liberty takes this song to heart. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v3etuIw-aM
If i read the word “transparency” one more time in this post im going to go crazy!! yes we get it Liberty..you this the wf school board is transparent and dishonest. so vote no..who cares. we agree to disagree with you and thank you for your concern.
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I love how those who disagree are quite snarky in their responses – you obviously must care since you took the time to post on this blog.
Yes there may be additional costs but not $82.5 million worth of extra costs. With the school system I observed every student has a full month (minimum) in the summer from June to July and some start in late july and others in early august – after about a 4 week time frame they get 1 week off and it staggers from there – those who start earlier in the summer get out earlier in the spring, etc.
I would like to see other options tried before tax, tax, tax right away – I may be more accepting of the proposals if other options were tried.
Like or Dislike: 3 3
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