Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I was thinking about last night’s BOS meeting, and on further consideration, I believe that Tom Calter raised some interesting issues that bear discussion.
1. He seemed tied to the Rappaport study in his criticism of the Deal; and
2. He seemed focused on the alleged “fact” that there could be 1000 more kids in the schools.

As to his use of the Rappaport study, it seems to me that you cannot pick and choose your statistics. That is the same study that says there is little effect on crime, and possibly a decrease per capita in crime. It also stated that property values in rural towns will slightly increase.

As to the schools, he posed the prospect that 1000 more students MAY come to the Middleborough schools. Again, he cited the Rappaport study that discusses a 5% population increase. In Middleborough, that increase would mean 1100 new people in Middleborough—and I do not believe that of those 1100, 1000 will be students.

But rather than focus on the Rappaport numbers, we can look at a model that already exists: Montville and Ledyard.

Enrollment Data

1998-9 2905 3082
2000-1 2977 3109
2006-7 2949 2916


1998 17,256 14,819
2000 18,546 14,687

Population Growth

1990-98 3.50% -0.60%
1990-00 11.20% -1.50%

As you can see from the numbers obtained from the CT Department of Education, the enrollment has been declining in Ledyard, along with the population since 1998. In Montville, there has been an increase in comparison to 1998-9, but a drop from 2000-1. But it is easy to see that the spread between the high and low would yield the conservative overestimate of an increase of 44 students under the Montville model (even with an 11.2% increase in population from 1990-00, more than 2X the amount predicted by Rappaport), and a 193 student decrease in Ledyard. This is hardly a 1000 student $8.5 million dollar hemorrhage that is claimed by Tom Calter. Under the Montville model, the added cost conservatively figured is $374,000.

I am glad that he showed up, and we could have the discussion we did. He cleared up a number of issues that were bugging me.


BolshoiBob said...

Could you provide the link for where the information was found?

Thank you.

AMB said...

Google CT Department of Education and go to school districts and data.

Middleboro Review said...

Rep. Calter made the point that the proponents of the casino should hire an EXPERT to do an accurate cost analysis of the surrounding issues.
It would seem to me that an EXPERT would be one who examines ALL surrounding statistics, costs and information and actually does that type of business analysis for a living.
To merely select 2 surrounding towns is not reasonable, nor reflective of the costs you've stated.
And your presentation indicates that these many months later, you are just now considering those calculations which is disappointing.
When the Plymouth Selectmen brought the elected officials from the 3 towns surrounding Foxwoods to address a public audience, they presented a far different picture.
You might recall that the Middleboro Selectmen were asked to do precisely that prior to the ratification of the Agreement.
Of particular note was the issue of ESL teachers. + 30 different languages were being taught in local schools. Rep. Calter briefly mentioned the increased cost of educating non-English speaking students. Those costs immediately double.
The Town of Clark, CT has gone from having 2 ESL teachers to having 100.
Other towns have been equally impacted and it would seem sensible to retain an EXPERT and accurately determine those costs.
I have previously raised the issue of numerous foreign languages within the area and the need for preparation, particularly in terms of emergency services and medical care.
The presence of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking people has created a medical community capable of addressing those needs. What of the +30 other potential languages?
Both CT casinos offer language courses to provide enough language proficiency for workers to complete their jobs, which seems to indicate an aknowledgement of a problem.
I would again call it to your attention that if you're going to reference reports or statistics, you should indicate your source for further reading.

AMB said...

Just a few comments (and please forgive my elementary typing skills):

"To merely select 2 surrounding towns is not reasonable, nor reflective of the costs you've stated."

What I selected was the two towns in which the casinos sit in CT. It still looks like 1000 new students is a drastic over-estimation, which then becomes consistent with the School Superintendant's support of the Resort project.

"And your presentation indicates that these many months later, you are just now considering those calculations which is disappointing."

It does not indicate anything of the sort. I am just responding to a claim of 1000 students, that appears to be a questionable number.
Additionally, my only focus was on the impacts that Calter was suggesting in Middleborough--not in surrounding Towns. He was very specific as to his scope.

As to Experts. I have no problem with them, and I generally rely on the in-house expertise of Dr. Sullivan. Any additional suggestions as to experts would be graciously accepted.

I also have posted the origin of the data--the CT Department of Education, School & District Data. Are you saying that I need to provide the link? If that is proper etiquette I will surely do so in the future, and I stand corrected Jesse.

Middleboro Review said...

The period you selected seems to be after the defense cuts and Electric Boat collapse that drastically effected that particular area.
It is possible the area experienced a major exodus and change in demographics.
Actually, there are reports available to that effect that I believe were prepared by UConn.
It would seem, to do an accurate comparison, you might have to compare the period when Electric Boat was a major employer and defense contracts significantly contributed to the economy.
Since you have indicated that you relied on Dr. Sullivan, could you provide his projections of student enrollment and associated costs? That might be helpful for us all.
Rep. Calter's suggestion seems to make the most sense since there are additional issues that require addressing and consideration that are being overlooked.
Links within articles are always convenient and prevent having to request same. It allows a review of the methodology and the details for the convenience of interested readers, as well as forwarding to others.