Elmbrook will decide non-resident enrollment fate tonight

It’s a test of sorts for incumbent Meg Wartman. Will she vote to continue Superintendent Matt Gibson’s charge for more non-resident students? Her opponents should be watching carefully.

To staff’s credit, they did not make a board recommendation as to the number of students that should be allowed for 2009-2010 in this memo to the board. There are three scenarios stated with numbers attached.

You won’t be surprised to know that I vote for “C” at 43 students.

This memo admits to a possible discussion on closing two grade schools and redistricting the elementary students. That’s the commitment that needs to be made tonight. It makes no sense to listen to how much revenue another 90 non-resident students would provide while ignoring the amount of cost savings closing two grade schools would create. It is imperative that the district holds back on stuffing the schools until that cost-savings discussion takes place.

Finally, board members (if you are reading ;)) please remember that you are not required by the state to take non-resident enrollment. You are only required to have a plan regarding non-resident enrollment. Don’t let staff convince you otherwise. If you have a plan to discuss consolidating facilities looming, the district is completely within its rights to limit non-resident enrollment.


  1. Your board and Administration are broken. It cannot be fixed. It must be replaced.

    The cost of doing nothing will be 10’s of millions of dollars, and the safety of your children.

    April 2008 article on closing schools

    “Use of reserves:”

    “The report says district reserves can pay for more expensive facilities needs, such as a new heating and ventilation system at Pilgrim Park Middle School, projected a year ago to cost about $3.5 million; gyms or cafeterias at Hillside and Tonawanda elementary schools; and improvements to athletic fields at the two high schools.”

    “The Mary Knoll and Imperial properties should not be sold in the short term because the district could use them, they are growing in property value and there is no current need for the money their sale would generate, the report says.”

    “Superintendent Matt Gibson said the elementary schools are “well-attended” and there is no immediate need for a closure.

    He suggested that the district consider other major efforts to shore up its budget before closing a school. But if the district were to face making major cuts in its core educational programs, it might be better to close a school to maintain high quality at the remaining schools, he said.”

    “Schwei said, “My gut feeling is we’re not that close to start planning for that.””


    Let alone their disregard for child safety.