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18 index.html
@@ -46,7 +46,7 @@
<p>The BOE claims this would save $950,000-$1M per year (approximately 1.2% of the $80M annual school operating budget.) However, many Ridgefield residents don't think they are considering all of the factors, and wonder if this action could cause more harm than good. </p>
<p>The purpose of this website is to consolidate information on the BOE's plans, academic studies of the effects of school closures, and names/contact details of the decision-makers involved.
-With this information, I hope the residents of Ridgefield will be better equipped to evaluate the BOE's plan and determine if it's in the community's best interest.</p>
+With this information, the residents of Ridgefield will be better equipped to evaluate the BOE's plan and determine whether it's in the community's best interest.</p>
<h1>BOE &amp; BOF Materials</h1>
@@ -75,7 +75,7 @@
<ul>
<li><p>The decades following the 1960s saw an increase in the size of American schools and
-classrooms. However, recent research indicates that <strong>large schools do not work for minority and low income students, tend to hurt attendance and student participation, and are not necessarily cost efficient</strong>. Irmsher (1997) summarizes the results of various studies that examined whether large schools have produced greater academic success at a lower cost; the ways in which small schools benefit students, parents, and teachers; and the need for establishing a collective school identity in conjunction with downsizing.</p></li>
+classrooms. However, recent research indicates that <strong>large schools tend to hurt attendance and student participation, and are not necessarily cost efficient</strong>. Irmsher (1997) summarizes the results of various studies that examined whether large schools have produced greater academic success at a lower cost; the ways in which small schools benefit students, parents, and teachers; and the need for establishing a collective school identity in conjunction with downsizing.</p></li>
<li><p>Reeves (2004) and Eyre &amp; Finn (2002) recount that between 1990 and 2000, total enrollment in West Virginia decreased 11%, 202 schools were closed, and education spending increased by 16%. <strong>Per pupil expenditures increased more in West
Virginia than in any other state, but student achievement remained stagnant during this period.
Transportation and administrative costs rose in spite of the declining numbers of students.</strong>. </p></li>
@@ -109,7 +109,7 @@
<li><p>A study by Beta Biostatistics, Inc (2007) looked at the relationship between proximity to
schools in the Oshkosh Region and the sale prices of properties recently sold in the area. The study shows that there is a significant relationship between a residential property's proximity to public schools and the property's value as predicted by sales prices. <strong>The further a property is away from the schools, the less value a property might have</strong>.</p></li>
<li><p>Kwame, Espey &amp; Huiyan (2007) argue that <strong>the impact of school proximity appears to be as
-significant in terms of property values as school quality is</strong>, with <strong>close proximity generally making a positive contribution to property values</strong> while greater than average distance from schools correlates with significantly lower property values. Moreover, Kwame &amp; Espey (1993) study of the impact of school quality on property values within the city limits of Greenville, SC suggests that <strong>greater distance to assigned K-12 schools has a negative impact on the value of the property</strong>. For assigned elementary schools, housing values within 2640 feet (quarter of a mile) were 18 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet (two miles). Schools between 2640 and 5280 feet were 17 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet. Schools between 5280 and 10560 feet were 7 percent higher in value. Assigned middle schools within 10560 feet sold for 16 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet range. Assigned high schools within 10560 feet sold for 12 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet range. Also, the results suggest that those who choose to live within the city limits of the study pay a premium to live in high quality school attendance areas.</p></li>
+significant in terms of property values as school quality is, with close proximity generally making a positive contribution to property values</strong> while greater than average distance from schools correlates with significantly lower property values. Moreover, Kwame &amp; Espey (1993) study of the impact of school quality on property values within the city limits of Greenville, SC suggests that <strong>greater distance to assigned K-12 schools has a negative impact on the value of the property</strong>. For assigned elementary schools, housing values within 2640 feet (quarter of a mile) were 18 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet (two miles). Schools between 2640 and 5280 feet were 17 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet. Schools between 5280 and 10560 feet were 7 percent higher in value. Assigned middle schools within 10560 feet sold for 16 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet range. Assigned high schools within 10560 feet sold for 12 percent higher than those beyond 10560 feet range. Also, the results suggest that those who choose to live within the city limits of the study pay a premium to live in high quality school attendance areas.</p></li>
<li><p>Duncombe and Yinger (2010) argue that <strong>for the neighborhood that has lost its school,
property values tend to drop substantially as residents perceive disinvestment in their community</strong>. To some degree, <strong>school consolidation may break parents' valued connections with existing schools and result in higher transportation costs</strong> for parents and students.</p></li>
<li><p>According to the 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and
@@ -120,7 +120,7 @@
<ul>
<li>General property taxes for 2011-2012 are $111,433,272. At a mill rate of 20.61 this corresponds to a total assessed value of $5,406,757,496. </li>
<li>In Connecticut, property is taxed at 70% of fair value, implying the fair value of property in the town is $7,723,939,280. </li>
-<li>Just a 1% decline in property values corresponds to a value of $77,239,392, <strong>77 times the BOE's projected annual savings from closing a school.</strong>
+<li>Just a 1% decline in property values corresponds to a value of $77,239,392. This is <strong>77 times the BOE's projected annual savings from closing a school.</strong>
</li>
<li>If a 1% decline in property values did occur, then eventually, as properties are re-assessed at their new fair values, <strong>tax revenue would decrease by more than $1M, offsetting any savings from closing the school in the first place.</strong>
</li>
@@ -137,14 +137,14 @@
<ul>
<li>How much will it cost to later reopen the school when enrollment inevitably increases? Historically it has cost several million dollars to reopen a school. This could wipe out any accumulated savings. </li>
<li>What will be done with the money saved? There is no guarantee this will be applied to education, it could just be allocated to the general town fund.</li>
-<li>$1M/year only represents slightly more than 1% of the BOE's $80M annual budget. What assurance is there that the BOE will not still have to bow and scrape to have the BOF approve its annual budgets? Will all the years of hand-wringing, mental and physical effort over the decision to close a school have been worth it?</li>
+<li>$1M/year only represents slightly more than 1% of the BOE's $80M annual budget. What assurance is there that the BOE will not still have trouble convincing the BOF to approve its annual budgets? Will all the years of hand-wringing, mental and physical effort over the decision to close a school have been worth it?</li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul><h1>What Can I Do About This?</h1>
<ul>
<li><p>Tell your friends in Ridgefield about this issue. Blog about it. Use <a href="www.facebook.com">Facebook</a>, <a href="www.twitter.com">Twitter</a> and other social media to spread awareness. Comment on articles about this issue in the <a href="http://ridgefield.patch.com/">Ridgefield Patch</a>.</p></li>
-<li><p>Write to your Board of Education <a href="BoardofEd@ridgefield.org">BoardofEd@ridgefield.org</a> and let them know how you feel</p></li>
+<li><p>Write to your Board of Education <a href="BoardofEd@ridgefield.org">BoardofEd@ridgefield.org</a> and let them know what you think</p></li>
<li>
<p>Write or call members of the Board of Finance:</p>
@@ -158,7 +158,7 @@
</ul>
</li>
<li>
-<p>Write to your Selectmen:</p>
+<p>Write or call your Selectmen:</p>
<ul>
<li>Rudy Marconi (First Selectman), <a href="selectman@ridgefieldct.org">selectman@ridgefieldct.org</a>, 203-431-2774.</li>
@@ -217,8 +217,8 @@
<h1>Credits</h1>
<p>Some of this material was adapted from aggregated data <a href="http://media.heightsobserver.org/media/docs_1334240826.pdf">here</a> and from a <a href="http://www.cppsofseattle.org/consolidationresearch.pdf">document created by the Parents for Public Schools of Seattle</a>. The original authors are unknown. I have validated the content, fixed and added hyperlinks where available.</p>
-<h1>Questions &amp; Comments</h1>
-<p>Please email kevin dot manley at gmail</p>
+<h1>Contact</h1>
+<p>If you have feedback on this website please email kevin dot manley at gmail</p>
</section>
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