What is the NOTO905 movement? Why was it started?
No-To-905 is community group committed to ensuring voters of the Nauset Regional School District are well informed about the details and impacts of the Nauset Regional School Committee’s proposed high school expansion project. Simply put, leaders of the No-To-905 movement believe many key aspects of the Nauset High School Expansion Project are not being well and accurately communicated to voters. The group named itself “No-To-905” to draw attention to a key aspect of the building expansion project it believes has received inadequate attention, the fact the proposed building is designed to educate more 9-12 grade students than Nauset towns have. Specifically, the school is designed for 905 students when the four Nauset towns send approximately 600 kids to the school.
Are the creators of NOTO905.com anti-public education zealots?
No. The backgrounds and perspectives of supporters are many and varied. No-To-905 contributors are caring and thoughtful Nauset town residents who are: parents of current Nauset students, parents of Nauset graduates, Nauset graduates, current and former school employees, and Nauset area residents who are committed to ensuring the schools of the Nauset Region provide excellent and sustainable educational opportunities for the Region’s townspeople.
Why are members of the NO-TO-905 movement against the Nauset Regional School Committee’s plan to expand/renovate the High School for $132 million dollars, as proposed?
Members of the Nauset Community who helped create the NO-TO-905 movement cite many reasons for their lack of support the $132-million-dollar project. The most commonly cited reasons include:
• The school proposed is sized significantly too large. The building the School Committee designed is for 905 students, while the four Nauset towns only send approximately 600 high school age residents to the school. A major determinant of a school’s construction cost is the number of students it is designed educate, more students produce more costs.
• The Nauset School Committee’s renovate and expand project is designed without sufficient restraint and economy of design. While other local school committees (Monomoy and Cape Cod Tech), were able to design well within the limits of the Massachusetts’s School Building Authority (MSBA) funding support guidelines, many of the components of the Nauset project are too lavish, or simply ineligible, to receive MSBA financial support. Excessive or ill designed project components markedly increases costs to taxpayers and cause the MSBA to reduce its support.
• Passage of the proposed building project will support Nauset’s uneconomic practice of selling below cost seats to students who live outside the four towns of the Nauset Region. Under the leadership of the Nauset Regional School Committee, students from towns like Chatham, Dennis, and Barnstable are allowed to enter lotteries to enroll at Nauset and then their “home schools” are then bound to contribute $5,000 to the Nauset Region. In contrast, Nauset towns are required to contribute more than $20,000 for every student they enroll. Currently, Nauset taxpayers substantially subsidize the education of nearly 400 students across the Region’s middle and high schools. Imagine if the Regional School Committee decided to let your town send its high school age residents to the high school without having to contribute the 132-million-dollar expansion project and then they only required your town to pay $5,000 per student rather than the $20,000 plus they do today. Wouldn’t any Nauset town celebrate?
• The Nauset School Committee’s decision to massively renovate is fiscally imprudent. If the current school is as needy as is claimed, size and appoint the building correctly, and then build new next door. Simply put, paying 90%, or more, of the cost of a truly new school for a school refit on a building that is too large, makes no sense. Voters should also look to their own experiences to assess the prospects of a massive renovation project being completed on time and under budget.
• Members are also very concerned the renovation the school committee is proposing could meaningfully interfere with current students’ opportunities to obtain a quality education. Who really believes many students won’t find it difficult to learn well while they are being housed in portable trailer classrooms with heavy construction equipment being used to reshape buildings next door?
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