LEWISTOWN - Janel Harrop of Siglerville, announces her candidacy for a seat on the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors.
"I am running for a seat on the board as an independent person," Harrop said in a press release. "If elected will have an open mind, always taking into consideration the education of the pupils, the parents and the staff, as well as economic conditions of the county. As a taxpayer in Mifflin County, like you, I believe we must find ways to hold the line on taxes and still give our students a class 'A' education. Students should have the books and supplies they need to learn before spending money on new buildings and a new stadium."
In the release, Harrop said she has concerns on decisions that have taken place over the last several years.
"When a person holds a position on the school board you are voted in by the taxpayers of the county and should listen to the residents of Mifflin County" she said in the release. "An elective board member has the right to agree to disagree. As a board member you should vote honestly on the facts and not be swayed by a majority. I cannot make promises; I will be opened minded and honest with my decisions.
"I feel the county residents would have adapted to the one county school if county residents would have been more informed of the decisions of the board and reasons for the decision to consolidate. There is little doubt this school district, as well as the nation, is in financial trouble and these financial problems in the district have been growing for more than 30 years. This district has relied on funding supplied from the state and various grants for years and this funding has been cut and is going to continue to be cut, which requires items in the school district to get cut.
"Facts are, our enrollment has decreased from 7,500 students in this district in the '80s to less than 5,200 for the 2011 2012 year. Was it possible that we could have gone to a one county school without the new building with the enrollment in this district decreasing every year? More than likely 'yes,' but we have a new building we didn't need (in my opinion), but the building is here and we now need to pay for it as well as use it. No one likes to take jobs from individuals, no one likes their alma mater to disappear, and no one likes to pay more taxes but again truth be told we do not have the students in this district that we had at one time. It seems to me the schools are the big topic right now and everyone has a right to be angry and I have been, but the most important thing that everyone needs to consider are the students Their education is what is going to get them somewhere in life, not all the bells and whistles."
In the release, Harrop said she is a lifelong resident of Mifflin County. She resides in Siglerville with her husband Robert where they are partners in Harrop Farms, a family dairy/crop farming business. She is an active member of the Mifflin County Farm Bureau, along with serving on the board of the Mifflin County 4-H Fair and a Deacon of the Milroy Presbyterian Church. She has an adult son who graduated from Indian Valley High School and a daughter currently attending Indian Valley Middle School. She works full-time as an administrative assistant in Mifflin County. She is a graduate of Kishacoquillas High School with business majors and graduated from South Hills Business School with a computer operations applications degree.