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Full funding for school budget

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My son has had a difficult first year of school –  as have almost everyone’s children this year. The teachers and administrators have gone above and beyond in some challenging conditions.  I cannot wait to see my son return next year when he is back in school with all his friends and teachers, having a normal school year. So I am very distressed by the Mayor’s proposal not to fully fund our public schools next year.

After a year like we have all had, a year where our children have lost the equivalent of months of education, a year that experts are predicting up to a sixth of our children will never fully recover from, our schools need all of our support – and our children need all of their rightful opportunities. This is not the year to be cutting teachers and taking away yet more learning from our children. They have already lost enough.

I urge the Common Council to fully fund the Norwalk Public Schools budget. Let’s help all of our children get the education they need to put this difficult year behind us.

Teresa Petersen
Norwalk Parent

8 comments

Collie February 17, 2021 at 6:13 am

I am against a new 7 million dollar dollar ESL Welcome Center. I think that money is needed elsewhere in the schools. Fix the old schools fully first, then maybe think about a new welcome center. Where is the new Superintendent priorty…

John O'Neill February 17, 2021 at 9:02 am

Money doesn’t grow on trees. Take a look at the budget hikes over the last few years. Not sure if you noticed but many people in Norwalk have lost their jobs and along with budget increase comes property tax hikes. Holy Cow…There’s no free lunch. Although some people seem to think so.

DryAsABone February 17, 2021 at 1:31 pm

Look next door at Scamford. They are proposing a 6.34% increase with fifty-two new positions.
They conveniently forget to mention $12M in CARES ACT money.
This in a time when corporations continue to leave. NestleWaters is being sold as of today,in Stamford, so they will be gone in due course. The state economy is in tatters and will not recover for ten yeare or more,if ever. Inflation is barely two-percent. And schools want six-percent spending increase,or more?! REALLY?
Out of control…simply out of control.

Justin Matley February 17, 2021 at 9:56 pm

A lot of misleading comments here.

Number one: the state has a budget SURPLUS this year of $70m after predicting a $2b shortfall. The state’s fiscal state is (surprisingly) sound, relatively speaking.

Number two: The Welcome Center is not part of the operating budget. It’s a capital project, and one that, while needed, seems to be ripe for delay. It’s not factored into the city’s budget proposal and I think many are OK with that for the time being. Good idea; probably not the right year.

Number three: CARES money is only permitted for very specific purposes defined solely by the federal government (with state consultation). These have not been entirely defined yet, but it will almost certainly be temporary staff positions or services directly related to COVID recovery. It cannot just be applied to the BOE operating estimate to offset costs arbitrarily. It’s not a gift card.

Bryan Meek February 18, 2021 at 9:24 am

@Justin. You do realize what a budget surplus is versus an actual surplus? You do realize that we have not come close on any forecasts in 10 years now? Let me simplify things for you. The surplus being spoken of here would be like me or you getting a $10k credit card, cash advancing the whole thing, blowing $9k at the casino, then calling our $1k a surplus.

Justin Matley February 18, 2021 at 3:00 pm

@Bryan My point was responding to the comment “the state economy is in tatters” above. I won’t get into all the choke points, but considering our debt obligations in this state, we’re in as good of a place as we’ve been in in a long time, considering a pandemic.

Justin Matley February 18, 2021 at 3:04 pm

And no state is operating at an actual surplus. That’s not the issue here. It’s that the fiscal state of the state is sounder than the disaster painted above.

Justin Matley February 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm

@Bryan, I was responding to the above comment about the dire financial position our state is in. It’s much sounder than it was. I don’t think there’s any realistic argument otherwise, however you decide to view the numbers.

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