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GASD Recognizes Board, Voices Concern over Charter School Costs

Noting that January is School Director Recognition Month, Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) Superintendent Jason Perrin recognized board members for their service.

“This is a time for us to celebrate and recognize the challenging and vital work boards do on behalf of our students, schools, and families,” said Perrin.

GASD School Board

Perrin said the impact of the coronavirus epidemic had added an extra challenge, saying “board members are tasked with making critical decisions quickly with the best information available.”

Perrin noted that board positions are unpaid and the majority of school directors cite their desire to give back to their communities and contribute to public education as their main motivation for their work

“School directors are invested engaged in their communities. They are our neighbors, friends, local leaders, parents, and engaged citizens. The job they do ensures all our schools continue to provide opportunities for success for every student,” said Perrin.

Perrin noted the substantial work board members do outside of meetings, saying their “service goes way beyond what people realize.”

Board member Carrie Soliday noted GASD had spent over $150,000 on charter schools, and particularly cyber charter schools, in December. “It’s a significant amount,” said Soliday. Soliday asked the board to consider talking about a strategic plan to help families choose to move back GASD offerings, saying the cyber charter schools “are the worst performing in the state.”

Board member Sylvan Hershey said people he had talked to about charter schools from other school districts could not believe that Gettysburg offered four choices of learning. He said people had been “amazed with how we have handled it and the kids have handled it.”

Board member Kathleen Pratt publicly thanked Director of Facilities/Safety and Security Coordinator Wayne A. Crosby. “Mr. Crosby worked tirelessly to find cost-saving solutions to both students and taxpayers benefit,” said Pratt.  He will be missed.”

Perrin thanked James Hoffman on his promotion to Acting Director of Facilities.

The board voted unanimously to confirm that the 2021-22 school budget would not exceed the PA Act 1 index of 3.5 percent.

Perrin said there had been some recent short-term school closures due to the pandemic but the goal remained to keep “as much in-person instruction going on as we possibly can.” Perrin thanked everyone at home and at school for their flexibility in adapting to keeping schools open. “This works because our teachers make it work with the kids every day,” said Perrin.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be Feb 1, 2021

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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