New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

April 6, 2013

Tofel’s Lockley concerns are recent phenomenon

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

I’d like to respond to Mary Ann Tofel’s recent letter to the editor, which contains more falsehoods than truths.

Tofel’s letter contained two primary truths: She was a teacher and she served on the New Castle Area School Board for six years. That’s where the truth ends.

She did not wholeheartedly support the Lockley project; she changed her vote after the project began, which had nothing to do with “the thought of the burden on taxpayers.”

She knows why she changed her vote. Why didn’t she explain then that she was very worried about “… the burden on taxpayers?” Only now is she conveniently voicing “concern” for the taxpayers.

Regarding class sizes that Tofel mentions in her letter, the present enrollment figures presented to the board have no bearing on the early learning center. Why would current enrollment numbers be factored in to this building project when in reality the new building will not be totally operational until the 2014-2015 school year?

More important, the kindergarten and first grade students of the 2014-2015 school year have yet to register for school. That’s why the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires us to use its enrollment projections.

Furthermore, Tofel was at the meeting when the district’s architect said there will be room in the new building to accommodate smaller class sizes after the consolidation. I guess his expertise doesn’t mean much either.

Anybody who knows me knows I have spent my entire life advocating for our students. I would never agree to put 28 students in a classroom. Anyone who suggests otherwise is attempting to mislead the public and distort the truth, which I find to be quite disappointing.

I’m confident my 40-plus years in education have given me “abundant knowledge and experience” to render an informed opinion.

George J. Gabriel

Lynn Street

New Castle

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