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ALTIERI: It’s Time for Academics Over Agendas in North Penn

Vince Altieri, a parent and candidate for the North Penn Board of School Directors, is on a mission to defeat top-down political agendas in classrooms.

D.C.-style politics on the 9-0 North Penn Neighbors for Progress School Board divides the community, hurts taxpayers, and contributes to the deterioration of public education. All statistics show that over the past four years, academics and school safety have been going in the wrong direction for North Penn.

While I don’t hold my opponents personally responsible, I am unable to get my arms around how this leadership team continues to spend way too much time justifying the results they have produced. In fact, at the last school board meeting before this important election, my opponents went as far as discounting the double-digit decline in academics by saying, “The algorithms used by ‘Niche,’” are the reason. North Penn Neighbors for Progress has held 100 percent of NPSD Board seats for the past four years, and in that time, there has been a total of four dissenting votes. Because of this political monopoly, there has been no accountability or possibility to pivot in a direction that leads to more academic and district success.

Taxpayers are paying for these declines and special interests. For the past four years, a stadium, a healthcare clinic, and other board-led initiatives that follow political party-led lines have taken priority, while middle school students have lost in-person learning time due to insufficient HVAC systems.

This year, the board is planning on having a referendum for a 9th-grade center that will include a North Penn High School renovation with only one contractor bid. While they advertise the cost of $95 million, the actual cost is estimated to be $400 million, with debt service totaling $800 million. Advanced deterioration happened while the board prioritized other projects that should have never have come before renovations.

Adding insult to injury, the board is hoping to spend an extra $319,000 of taxpayer dollars to hold a special election in January 2024 instead of waiting a few short months until the presidential primaries.

Speaking of special interests, I have been shocked to learn that elected officials are donating large sums of money to my opponents. Special interest funding often leads to special favors. I am proud to be the main contributor to my campaign along with private donors. If elected, I will owe no favors, and I will ensure that North Penn hires qualified candidates based on merit over interest. Our children deserve the best!

Elected officials who have donated to the board members take public speaking time to support the board with a warm reception from the board, while parents and stakeholders who advocate for change and betterment of their children’s education are quick to be silenced in a manner that does not often foster respect.

After having spoken at many meetings, I promise to allow parents to address the board with respect and a reasonable amount of time instead of being told in a disrespectful manner: “Your time is up.”

I love the North Penn Community and am grateful for the many conversations and support I have received during this wonderful journey.

NPSD offers a plethora of amazing programs along with engaged and committed educators who serve a diverse body of students, including my daughter. You have my word that I will work hard to make sure North Penn serves its stakeholders once again with the excellence it has been historically known for.

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