Did you know…

The Corbett School District’s student population numbers have doubled in less than 5-6 years. A larger campus could allow for even more expansion.

growthDID YOU KNOW: Over 470 Charter Students were absorbed into our district in 2014-2015, through Open Enrollment. This was done during the same time residents received district bond fliers that stated the bond would not pay for “the Charter students”. Read more here.

Half of our district (students and staff) do not live in Corbett

SQUARE FOOTAGE PER STUDENT? The square footage per student is much less than it could be today because of the continual expansion based on out of the area students into our district. The creation of the Charter School was only the first of many of these decisions. The school approved a “STEM” high school and then the State revoked this school. Current plans may include a second building to recreate a STEM or another CHARTER school to try and recapture those lost funds.  Read more about the original STEM here.

HOW MANY SCHOOLS DO WE HAVE ? The question of how many schools we have today in Corbett is confusing – is it three? Or is it six? Read here.

Corbett Charter School was not legally established

DID YOU KNOW: The Corbett Charter was not legally established with Multnomah County. We did not provide for the legally required public hearing for our citizens to let them know what was happening when this Charter began. The school board at that time (most of the same members who serve on the school board majority today) approved the Charter before an actual agreement was even drafted. Read here for more.

Growth Based on Crisis

DID YOU KNOW: The Corbett School Board and District has never publicly explained, in any newsletter or communication, the accounting error that resulted in a $725,000 shortfall, after the first year the Charter School was in place. Bob Dunton was both the district Superintendent and the Charter Director during that time. This crisis was directly tied to the expansion of the Charter and more out of the area students. Read here for the Superintendent’s explanation in April 2013.

Growth Based on Growth

DID YOU KNOW: In 2012 The Superintendent started the process for a new conditional use permit for our district through Multnomah County. This was done without a vote or any involvement from our publicly elected school board. The result of that application was an increase to our allowed district totals of around 1,000 more students and staff, over our local population. Read more here.

DID YOU KNOW: The need for this permit was triggered because each building on our main campus was out of compliance with the County – as we had enrolled more students than we were allowed to have.

No Plans to Grow? Decide for Yourself…

DID YOU KNOW: During the August 2012 pre-application meeting for that conditional use application, the Superintendent claimed he had no plans to add students and that this was unfortunate misinformation. They also denied having plans for structure expansion, at least not at that moment….  Read and hear the audio of this meeting, to these points, here.

FACT: The application clearly states that if buildings are improved or square footage added that the district can revisit the application and ask for more students. Read here for more.

DID YOU KNOW: The district’s October Newsletter was 16 pages long. 8 of those pages were about passing this bond. Our district (and our tax dollars) go towards these attempts at securing bond monies. There are tens of thousands of dollars spent in fliers alone in these elections. This bond, if it fails, will be the third attempt in one year.

What is the best predictor of future behavior?
Past behavior. Please VOTE NO!

“Needs vs. Wants”
With the amount of this bond, we could address our current campus needs and cover seismic upgrades too. That is not what the district wants to do though. For example, if we looked at a single building vs. two new buildings and a connecting courtyard. What if we created educational space/sf to match current educational space/sf? If we did that, we could also cover many of the seismic and safety needs on campus.This is not what the district WANTS. We will likely face a follow up bond if this one passes – to address those safety/seismic issues.

The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office
The District has not presented proof that it has permission to actually remove this building from the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Where is the communication from the superintendent or school board back to SHPO that shows how they explained the current middle school?Here is the letter SHPO sent to Randy Trani and Charlie O’Neil over a year ago.

Ask Permission Later ?
Will Multnomah County, the Gorge Commission, and ODOT allow us to replace the current building with the two new buildings they are now proposing? If yes, then why have these agencies been left out of the conversation even after community members and groups have asked our board to include them in the process?

Where are the results of material testing on the current middle school?
If the district did not obtain the material testing to prove the building was not reinforced masonry, then it must explain to the public the following: Why were they not done. How can the school district suggest we needed to remove a historic  building based on assumptions of structural deficiencies?  In other words, if there is no proof that the building is unreinforced and that is their basis for wanting to remove it – then it appears to many these assumptions have been used as part of a larger ‘scare tactic’ about health and saftety to pass a bond.

Did our District only recently discover the SRGP?
Our district is only now mentioning applying for SRGP grants? The Seismic Rehabilitation Grants Program launched in 2009. Why hasn’t our district looked into this before now?

False Health & Safety statements
You can read the Multnomah County Health Department’s response to claims made by the “WE VOTE YES” web site. Where did the claims and information come from on that site and where did they go? Why is that web site now missing completely? Why, when sent a question about who was ‘behind’ this web site, did no response ever come? Here is a link to who we are!

Springdale (CAPS)
If it is the district’s firm belief that the current middle school building is unsafe, as so many staff members have told students during earthquake drills, then why was Springdale (where no students were attending) a priority to refurbish over the historic building they now want to replace? Why not move students into that building (where currently there are still 2 empty classrooms ) after completion?

When is a library a library?
Our district turned our campus libraries into classrooms over the past few years. Apparently it is now going to cost the taxpayers over $300,000, out of this bond, to return a library we used to have in our high school back into a library space. (Oh and a few new admin offices too…) I don’t believe the district asked when they converted libraries into classrooms… Why are the taxpayers being charged so much to return a library to its original use at a smaller scale?

True Collaboration and Compromise is missing.
If there are not structural reason to level the historic building on the main campus, why not work with the community to come up with ideas that could include a new building for the campus AND options to refurbish and save this one? This is something that has been completely ignored and the staff and administration seem uninterested in this type of compromise.

The citizens of Corbett deserve to have the missing conversation about the growth of the district from out of the area students.

This growth originally started with a Charter school that was never legally established with Multnomah County. Because they skipped this step, our citizens were denied a public hearing about what this growth would look like.

This process should now include a third party independent review of our local population projections. We must insist on having a school board who is willing to stand with the concerns of the community it serves. We must demand a cap on this growth.

Let’s leave a legacy that shows our community came together to deal with the real issues and restored trust in our school district, before we ask our citizens to vote again on creating a larger campus.