You probably won't like what Joe Watkins comes up with, but you can't say he didn't tell you so.
I love a straight shooter, and Joe Watkins has consistently maintained his position on what the school district will be excepted to deal with from the first day he was announced.
Here's my opinions of the Joe Watkins Recovery Plan
This means that a lot of children will be bussed to Main Street and Toby Farms. Since Stetser is closing in the summer, I doubt if the students will be bussed there. If the schools are truly 50% occupied, I guess it's a good move. I just hate to see so many kids taken away from their neighborhood school and put on busses.
Closing Stetser Elementary and the STEM high school housed at the Smedley building during summer break (and moving the administrative offices to Chester High)
This is a no brainer. Get rid of these buildings and it's very likely that Widener will scoop them up in a jiffy.
Furloughing about 70 staff and faculty members within the next two years.
If you have fewer buildings and fewer students, you can justify fewer staff members.
Hiring a superintendent by April 1
That musical chair position is one of the biggest jokes in town. Hopefully, a long term contract with the right person could make a difference.
Regaining 4.5% of students lost to charter and cyber schools before next year
This is the metric to follow. Mr. Watkins has set a firm number of students and a hard end date. Just watch these numbers and you will know whether the district remains a public school or goes to all charter.
Adding after-school, summer school and day care programs
Always a great move.
Creating an endowment and seeking private donations
Great idea but this concept is so long overdue that I can't see it gaining any momentum in the next couple years. But it's worth a try.
The only question I have is how does he justify the district going from a $3.2 million deficit to a $181 million deficit in 5 years? I'd love to see that math.