My name is Jim Brophy

Boyertown Area School District

I live in Douglass Township, PA, and I am running for the Boyertown Area School Board.
Being recently retired, I have had the opportunity to review what is happening in our school district. Here are a few of my thoughts:

Closure of Pine Forge Elementary. This action is destined to bring more debt and more distress to the district. Seats in our schools are dwindling and as more development occurs the existing seats will fill quickly. Closing a school and limiting the seats does not seem like the appropriate response.

Asset protection has been either ignored or not even considered. The stadium rebuild is a glaring example but the condition of all assets is in question. How is our building maintenance for long term use being planned and executed?

Taxing strategy has been to rubber stamp administration requests. The job of the board is oversight along with working closely in developing spending plans. This is proving difficult at present as the administration expects the board to approve the budget in its entirety without the line item information. Additionally, without a long-term spending plan there is no way to develop any type of taxing strategy. Presently, we are proposing taxes well in excess of Act 1 guidelines. There needs to be a planned and transparent approach toward reducing these increases.

Quality of Education. Boyertown is a great school district to call home. However, we have recently dropped on the most used school ranking websites. There are 563 school districts ranked and we are at 116. We are now rated above average. We want to be better than that.

Redistricting our School District. A redistricting plan must be developed to distribute the student population equally across the school district. We cannot have schools at 95 percent capacity while other schools are at capacity levels far below optimum.

The transgender issue which actually made national news, was not handled in the appropriate way. It should have been approached in a non-controversial manner and some collaborative solution reached. Instead, it became a controversial issue from which neither side could step back.

Board Behavior, Finally, the last thing I find disconcerting, is the lack of respect for each other from the board members. You cannot work effectively together when there is no respect.