The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 27, 2014

FULL TEXT: Downtown Dragons response in high school debate

Editor's Note: The following is the complete text of a letter to the editor submitted to The Daily Item on Monday by members of the Downtown Dragons, a community group in Lewisburg, in response to a presentation by Lewisburg Area School District Superintendent Mark DiRocco during a public meeting on Thursday. The complete text of Dr. DiRocco's presentation can by viewed by Clicking Here.

To the editor:

Downtown Dragons appreciates community discussion of the high school issue in the media, online, and in public meetings.

In the Jan. 24 edition of the Daily Item, Superintendent Mark DiRocco publicly stated that we have a right to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. We agree. However, his Jan. 23 presentation entitled “Misconceptions and Facts” contains significant misrepresentations of our own statements, which we address here. The numbered misconceptions come directly from his presentation, which is currently posted on the LASD home page.

Misconception No. 1: “Instructional supply budgets are 20 percent less than district projections and our teachers have about one-fifth of what they need to purchase supplies”.

Response: Actual quote from our Jan. 19 column: “Some instructional supply budgets are more than 20 percent less than the district’s projections, according to its own five-year financial planning document…our teachers have about one-fifth less than what they need.”

We applaud the Green Dragon Foundation, which provides many instructional supplies, as well as money for field trips and the like, through private donations from concerned citizens.

Misconception No. 2: “We are unable to afford the financing of the new high school.”

Response: The chart accompanying this point in Dr. DiRocco’s presentation shows how money transferred into the capital reserve fund is now being used for annual debt service payments. That still does not address the fact that operating budgets are still low and teachers are not being replaced.

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