Stolz’s Willow Lane Motion on School Board Agenda Tonight

East Penn School Director Julian Stolz proposed a motion at the Jan. 14 school board meeting that the district continue to fund buses for those Willow Lane Elementary School students now bused to school in the proposed 2013-2014 budget.

The controversy over who will and will not be bused to Willow Lane Elementary School in the fall continues to drive the agenda of the East Penn Board of School Directors.

Tonight, the board will vote on a motion proposed by Director Julian Stolz at the board’s Jan. 14 meeting. If passed, the measure would direct the administration to continue to fund transportation for those Willow Lane students currently being bused to and from school in preparing the 2013-2014 school budget.

Stolz has been a vocal proponent of maintaining district-provided transportation at Willow Lane at past school board meetings, stating that he puts the safety of the students first and foremost, above whatever cost savings East Penn School District might see from cutting busing to Willow Lane.

The East Penn Board of School Directors meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the District Administration Building. A copy of tonight’s agenda can be found on the East Penn School District Web site.

Eric January 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM
This is the latest CEPTA wedge issue. These people will do anything to get votes. Why isn't Stolz and Donches moving to buss elementary students in Alburtis and Emmaus? Aren't those kids good enough for this motion?
Matt L. January 28, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Stolz has been a vocal proponent of getting votes from the parents at Willow who want a double standard for their kids at the expense of the taxpayer and fairness. Pretty disappointed in him I voted for him cause he's a budget hawk. Total political move. I live in Upper Milford now but I've lived in LMT. Another example of taxpayers across the whole district having to pay for lower macungie mess ups not having the corridor ready for walking/driving.
Rob Hamill January 28, 2013 at 03:29 PM
The current majority of the school board are very friendly with the teacher's union. The union is pushing for eliminating bussing, so schools can make our teachers multimillionairs in retirement(do the numbers to come out to $1.5 million plus). Since there isn't enough money to fund the teacher's and administrators retirements, the kids will have to bear the brunt of the burden. Make no mistake, Earnshaw, Ballard, Fuller( and the PSEA) are inherently evil in their intentions.
Rob Hamill January 28, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I'm glad Seidenberger wrote in a $74,000 raise for the administrators, an extra million for salaries and an extra million for pensions. We wouldn't want the kids to get in the way of the union and adminstrator gravy train. Citizens just shut up and pay us, they say.
optimist January 28, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Sorry not true. Please check your facts. Here is an article to reference: Seidenberger said students living within 1.5 miles of Alburtis Elementary, as well as Lincoln and Jefferson in Emmaus, also are not bused. http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/East-Penn-parents-press-for-road-safety-improvements-at-Willow-Lane-Elementary-School/-/132502/18128046/-/5y6jea/-/index.html
Rob Hamill January 28, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Hey optimist, are you paid by the PSEA for your "work"?
ted.dobracki January 28, 2013 at 03:49 PM
After I bought a house on Frank Dr in 1987., I was surprised to find that my kids would actually be bussed to Jefferson school. (they did walk to HS, though) The explanation was that Little Lehigh Acres didn't have sidewalks, but I can assure you, even at that time, you could walk all the way from my house to any school in the borough using sidewalks. Even the newer homes in LLAW (neighborhood directly accross from road along EHS fields), which have walks of barely 1.0 miles to Jefferson were bussed, in spite of complete sidewalk access. I haven't lived in that neighborhood since 1996, so I can't say if this is the case anymore. On the other hand, there are clearly some places in Emmaus that would require bussing no matter what the distance to the school is. There are areas near Community Park where you'd need to use very tight, curvy, hilly roads without sidewalks and there's little realistic or practical hope of putting them in. Likewise for Stryer section (east of diner at railroad underpass and the dangerous intersection near library). No one would expect kids from those areas to walk, even if the distances allowed it.
optimist January 28, 2013 at 03:56 PM
I agree Ted. Some areas are labled unsafe to walk and therefore transportation is provided. Some areas labled that way probably do not need to be but my guess is people try to make a safe call in those circumstances.
optimist January 28, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Right Hamill everyting goes back to an organized labor issue with you. You would blame a union if you had a tooth ache. Who paid for your Lower mac. population study back in the day? Are you going to claim that Willow Lane should not have been build since people are not moving into Lower Mac? Try just posting your thoughts or engaging in discussion without the nastiness.
Rob Hamill January 28, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Well "Optimist", are you paid by the PSEA? I ask the question again.
optimist January 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
taxed-enough January 28, 2013 at 04:17 PM
If anyone can really find an address around Alburtis, or a road or street that is designated as a walking area to Alburtis, and it is a over a mile like a MILE AND A HALF from the Alburtis school, please post the address, and I guarantee that it does not exist. I also do not think and elementary students in Emmaus walk a MILE AND A HALF, (nothing over 1.1 miles have I ever found in research regarding Emamaus). Don't believe everything that is said at school board meetings, or in a newspaper. Regarding Willow Lane, the school board is pushing for a mile and a half, and nothing less. They would like to cut off as much busing as possible for students, and then they give themselves raises, like Seidenberger who needed a raise since $160,000.00 per year was not enough.
An interested bystander January 28, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Ed Rendell was right - we are a nation of wusses.
Mariella Savidge January 28, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Tonight's meeting of the East Penn School Board has been canceled. The next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the district's administrative offices on Pine Street in Emmaus.
Jeff Brosky January 28, 2013 at 06:54 PM
sorry Ted we walked from stryer section to lincoln school in my day and the on to high school unless you could hop a ride with a big kid that had a car Jeff
An interested bystander January 28, 2013 at 07:01 PM
I guess since my comment was deleted I'm not allowed to quote our former governor, Ed Rendell, and in fact use the title of his book, in describing our school board cancelling tonight's meeting. So be it. Suffice it to say that cancelling tonight's meeting is a joke and Rendell is right.
ted.dobracki January 28, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Jeff, Thnx for the history lesson about walking from Stryer to Lincoln. All I can say is that if I was on the school board (and I once was from 89-93), and if that situation existed then, and someone had complained of made me aware of it, it would have been a no brainer to add bussing for elementary kids (and probably even HS) in that neighborhood. And that's quite a hike to the HS, too, but probably within the longer limit for that age group. I'm no (Rendell term redacted) about walking, and do it frequently myself, sometimes in pretty rough areas, but that underpass and intersection is a very nasty place for drivers, nevermind walkers. There was even a triple fatality auto at Ridge,State & Main light and another pedestrian fatality on the Ridge St soap box derby hill while I lived nearby at North and First in the 80's.
taxed-enough January 28, 2013 at 08:20 PM
To the people who keep quoting how far they walked decades ago.....times have changed. If you don't know, the truancy laws are stricter than decades ago and if a student has unexcused absences due to lack of transportation, parent illness (causing a parent to be unable to drive) etc, these are unexcused absences and the schools now send warning letters threatening parents with citations, having them fined, contacting child protective services, etc. The threatening letters are not funny. Not everyone has a working cars at all times. If the school district has the power to prosecute parents and to fine them in court, they should send a bus. Big government is a problem, and it gets bigger and more threatening every time they raise our already OUTRAGEOUS property taxes which is just an annual lien on our house. Eliminating bus service is the biggest tax hike ever, and will force some households to purchase newer or more reliable cars to comply with truancy laws. Not everyone who lives in East Penn is rich.
Rob Hamill January 28, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Dear Taxed, Just so you know, the lovely PSEA which has been instrumental in picking school directors in the primary for decades(so they can rape the taxpayer) has declared war on bussing, so they can keep more of the taxpayer moolah rather than let any parent or kid have it. Make sure you help to vote out the union goons on the school boards.
taxed-enough January 28, 2013 at 08:53 PM
This is evident. There is a war on busing. However, not a war on busing athletes. Athletes and their busing needs are more important than elementary students getting to school safely, since athletes bring prestige to schools. That is one of Ballard's favorite words, "prestige." Don't forget, we even flew a principal to China last year to bring "prestige" to our school. But, who cares about the safety of elementary students when we have the prestige of sending school employees to China?
optimist January 28, 2013 at 09:26 PM
You guys can hate the unions or school board all you want. Not asking you to change any of that. Please just support transporting all elementary kids to school instead of just Willow students. Those kids are not better than my nephew who walks to school. It is just over a mile. Fair is fair. Personally I don't have a problem with the walking but we can't have seperate sets of rules between townships and boroughs.
An interested bystander January 28, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Sorry Ted, wasn't talking about anyone being a <redacted> about walking, I was talking about the directors being <redacted> by cancelling tonight's meeting because of the rain.
Jeff Brosky January 28, 2013 at 09:46 PM
dear taxed in my day if you skipped school--and dad found out---- you did not have to worry about the truancy police-- if you get my drift
taxed-enough January 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Good point about your nephew. I agree with your point.
Susan C. January 31, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Mariella, Do you know if the school board will be having a "make-up" meeting? I was hoping to hear the results of the online Willow Lane Transportation Survey, especially since the survey closed on 1/21. Any chance the results could be made public and released to parents and the media before the next meeting on 2/11?
ted.dobracki February 01, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Unlikely to make-up. Agenda was fairly light with nothing too urgent that couldn't wait until Feb 11. Many PA school boards meet only once a month. Who knows? With internet websites, they could easily post slides and charts. But I'm presently reading a book called "How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid". Sometimes the words and explanations mean more than the bullet points and graphs, so it might not be really presentable and it might be necessary for the presenter to control the information a little, even without having any real ulterior motive.
Ethan February 02, 2013 at 02:50 PM
No elementary school student ANYWHERE should have to walk 1.5 miles to school. It's lunacy, period. It's inherently unsafe no matter the circumstances or sidewalk or road conditions. Any parent willing to let their kindergarten kids make that trek unsupervised, is being neglectful and by allowing the school to eliminate busing we are condoning that neglect. The cost of busing is nothing compared to the overall budget.
taxed-enough February 02, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Ethan, you are correct about the lunacy. You are absolutely correct that 1.5 miles to walk to school is too far for a kindergarten student at ANY of our elementary schools.
Matt L. February 02, 2013 at 08:35 PM
I haven't heard anyone advocate for Kindergarteners walking to school alone 1.5 miles. Have you? Everyone knows most parents will drive kids to school. Those close will hopefully walk their kids supervised or organize parent groups to supervise but many will drive. Do you know the combined savings of non-busing Willow, Alburtis, Lincoln AND Jefferson? It's not a "small number". The district should move forward with exploration for the Macungie schools, Wescosville and LowerMac as 'walking' schools as well. The combined savings would be close to a million dollars I'm guessing. Busing is not a right. For those in close radius how is this different then kids having to walk to a bus stop. Right now a school district can require students to walk to a bus stop up to 1.5 miles away. Thats where the 1.5 mile to walk/drive directly to school came from. Sorry to inconvenience some suburbanites but parents in the boroughs have been dealing with this for a long time. Somehow they manage. As a taxpayer I'm not ok with paying for your convenience.
optimist February 02, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Matt word is Wescosville is not a candiate to get transporation cut inside of 1.5 miles because Brookside Rd. has no sidewalks. Apprently this forces the district by law to provide busses to most of those kids.


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