Questions for the BOS and YCSD

I asked these questions in email, at the March 20 School Board Meeting (video) and at the March 21 Board of Supervisors meeting (video at 56:30).

Do you know what it would cost or what it would take to get the schools to meet state standards?

Do you know what it would cost or what it would take to get the overcrowding down to the 85-90% level?

Do you know what it would cost or what it would take to provide adequate school resources to cover the planned developments?

If you don’t know what it would take to provide adequate resources, you aren’t doing a good job of oversight.

The Marquis site has a usable lot size of 9.7 acres, per Mark Carter. (York County Elementary Usable Lot Sizes)  A 700-core capacity elementary school requires 11 acres of usable lot size, per the state DOE standards. (see here)  The new site does not meet state standards for a 700 student core capacity school.

Dr. James presented a projection of 5924 students in 5876 seats of “revised instructional capacity” as 101% overcrowding.  (2016 May 9)  With a full build out the Marquis school to 700 students, this is a projection of 5924/(5876+700)=90.1%, which is at the top end of the 85-90% range, and that assumes there is no new development in York county before the Marquis school is built out.  Even at 700 seats, there isn’t enough excess capacity planned to reduce overcrowding to acceptable levels.  With Marquis at 500, it is 92.9%.

Yorktown elementary has trailers parked on its two hard surface playgrounds, no librarian, and has had class sizes of 37 students.  We are currently providing inadequate, substandard schooling.

I don’t trust the planning that got us into the state we are in, and from looking at the current plans, it really doesn’t seem like the board is aiming to do better.

I fear that you do not know what it would take to fix these problems, and that the school board has not provided a plan to cover these necessities.

What I want you to do now is to direct the school division to plan to meet state standards, to eliminate overcrowding, and to cover developments already approved by the county.  If you expect any additional growth in the next few years, you should include additional planned capacity to cover it.  We should aim to provide enough capacity for 85% utilization rather than the already overcrowded 90.1% or 92.9% utilization provided by the 500 or 700 seat Marquis school plan.