November 13, 1991 |
Led by a group of political conservatives, a coalition of taxpayer organizations filed suit yesterday, seeking to overturn the passage of this year's state budget. The suit, filed in Commonwealth Court, said the $14 billion budget should be ruled invalid because the legislator who cast the deciding vote was not in the House chamber during the vote, a violation of House rules. The lawmaker, Rep. Richard Hayden (D., Phila.), has admitted that he was at the Philadelphia International Airport, awaiting a flight, at the time of the Aug. 4 vote.
January 14, 1993 |
With a myriad of taxpayer groups lobbying school boards or winning seats on them, parents in several county districts have begun to organize to support expenditures for quality education and extracurricular programs. When four incumbents in the Owen J. Roberts School District were swept out of office last year by candidates representing conservative Christians, a group calling itself PEERS - People for Educational Excellence in Roberts Schools - organized and worked to defeat two cost-cutting proposals by the new board.
November 9, 1995 |
Challengers representing taxpayer groups had mixed success in school board races throughout Chester County. The most drastic changes came in the Coatesville Area School District, where members of a group demanding accountability swept into a majority on the board. Candidates representing the Association for Better Local Education (ABLE) ousted Board President Mary E. Houlihan and the finance committee chairman, Thomas Lewis. They also picked up an open seat, bringing their total representation on the board to five out of nine members.
November 29, 1996 |
The donnybrook shaping up in the Chichester School District over an early-bird five-year extension of the teachers' contract reached in September is more than just a parting of minds over how the district should be run. Angry taxpayers are combining vigilance with a grass-roots mandate to become watchdogs in the district. Armed with pie charts and their own statistics, the most prominent of these groups are succeeding in imposing their agenda on the district, discomfiting board members and many residents alike.
February 23, 1994 |
The state's largest teachers' union is launching an offensive to corral support for teachers from local communities and state lawmakers and to quiet the outrage over school taxes that grass-roots groups have turned into a political force. With groups such as the Delaware County Taxpayers Alliance gaining ground in school districts throughout the state, the Pennsylvania State Education Association will encourage its members to meet with community residents and even join taxpayer organizations, association president Annette Palutis said yesterday.
September 9, 1993 |
School boards, beware. Your critics have often accused you of spendthrift ways, and now they have a powerful new weapon. Unity. For the first time, taxpayer groups from nearly every school district in the county will meet under one roof tonight. And guess what they'll be talking about. Taxes - among other things. "We're going to talk about what each group's experience has been; their purposes, successes and failures," said Jeff Hellrung, who helped form the Unionville-Chadds Ford Taxpayers Association.
May 31, 1995 |
The North Penn Board of School Directors has approved a contract to hire Edward Bowes as the district's new superintendent. At a special public meeting Friday, the board voted unanimously to hire the Indianapolis-area superintendent to run the district for the next four years, beginning Aug. 1. Bowes, 54, had been the school board's favored candidate since a board- appointed committee of about 17 residents, representing a variety of community...
May 16, 1993 |
It's a balancing act: How much should the public know about teacher contract negotiations? Too much, and negotiations could be jeopardized. Too little, and it could fuel taxpayers' resentment. In the past, negotiators on both sides were reluctant to tip their hands. But increasingly, some school boards are giving the public a peek at their proposals. This is due partly to a new state law and partly to pressure from taxpayer groups, which have focused much of their ire on teachers' salaries and benefits.
August 19, 1990 |
In recent months, school board meetings in Hainesport Township have become bitter and divisive as two taxpayer groups have battled over the direction of the school district. "In the 27 years since I have lived in the township, I have never seen the township at odds like it is now," said Carole Clark, the Board of Education's eight-term president. "Right now, I don't see any building in the community. There is just no unity. " With a 110 percent increase in the township's local purpose tax and a 23 percent increase in the school tax in this year's budgets, Hainesport residents are angrily pressuring the Board of Education and the Township Committee to cut back on what officials say are already lean budgets.
May 12, 1991 |
It's a new day in this year's school board races. Two years ago, the competition for seats on many area school boards was tepid at best, with many candidates running unopposed. This year, it's raining school board wannabes. What happened in two years? Several things, according to area politicians, school board candidates and education officials. The most important difference, however, is taxes, they say. When school boards start enacting 20- and 30-mill real estate tax increases, people take notice, start attending meetings, and run for office.