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Norwalk political notes: Lawsuit withdrawn, NPS per-pupil spending and a grant for NCC

A sign, sitting in Norwalk City Hall in February.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you:

  • D’Amelio drops lawsuit against City
  • A report on school spending per student, statewide
  • Himes touts grant

 

Lawsuit dropped ‘at no cost’

Former State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio has withdrawn his lawsuit against the City of Norwalk.

The papers, filed Monday, say that the lawsuit was being withdrawn “without costs to any party.”

It stemmed from a 2018 NancyOnNorwalk report detailing D’Amelio’s 2014 DUI and child endangerment arrest, expunged in 2016. D’Amelio charged that the Norwalk Police Department conspired against him by intentionally releasing details of his expunged arrest, although the heavily redacted police report that NoN picked up at police headquarters was not used for the NoN story. A less redacted copy that arrived in the mail was.

No one from the City’s legal department or the Mayor’s Office replied to multiple attempts to get a comment about the settlement. D’Amelio and his attorney, Robert Serafinowicz, did not reply to emails asking about the settlement.

News of an impending resolution to the suit came in March, when a motion for continuance said, “matter has settled.”

D’Amelio also sued this reporter over the story. That lawsuit was withdrawn in May 2019.

The D’Amelio family’s wealth – and public profile – have recently skyrocketed, as his two teenage daughters are reportedly making millions of dollars via Tik Tok. The pair are worth nearly $7 million, according to Forbes.

 

 

Studying school finances

Norwalk spent $18,488 per public school student in 2018-19, according to a report released in June by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). That includes State and “other funds.”

2019PPE103

Norwalk Public Schools was using $18,000 per student as its estimate this year as it worked through the budget process.

The report was studied by the School and State Finance Project, formerly called the Connecticut School Finance Project, which has updated its online interactive visualizations “that look at district per-student spending across the state and provide a glimpse into how districts use their financial resources,” it said in a press release.

“Additionally, we’ve used the Public School Expenditures Reports to create an analysis comparing 2017-18 district per-student spending amounts to 2018-19 amounts. Click here to download the full comparison,” it states.

The project lists key findings:

  • “In 2018-19, the state average* for district per-student spending was $17,506. This figure includes spending for all local public school districts, charter schools, and all non-special education schools and programs operated by the state’s RESCs. This is an increase of $489, or 2.9%, from 2017-18.
  • “The average* per-student spending for local public school districts in 2018-19 was $17,536; an increase of $486, or 2.9%, from 2017-18.
  • “The average* per-student spending for charter school districts in 2018-19 was $13,388; an increase of $119, or 0.9%, from 2017-18.
  • “The average* per-student spending for RESCs** in 2018-19 was $19,572; an increase of $973, or 5.2%, from 2017-18.
  • “Among Connecticut’s local public school districts, 2018-19 spending ranged from $13,521 per student for Danbury Public Schools to $35,559 per student for Sharon Public Schools. This is a difference of more than $22,000 per student.
  • “158 Connecticut school districts experienced an increase in their per-student spending from 2017-18 to 2018-19, while 34 districts experienced a decrease.
  • “The local public school district with the largest increase in spending in terms of dollars was Bozrah Public Schools, where per-student spending increased by $4,512, or 22.8%. Bozrah also had the largest percentage increase in spending for any local public school district.
  • “The local public school district with the largest decline in spending in terms of dollars was Cornwall Public Schools, where per-student spending decreased by$9,626 to $30,599 per student. Cornwall also had the largest percentage decrease (-23.9%) in spending for any local public school district.”

 

Grant for NCC

Norwalk Community College has received a $404,073 Student Support Services grant from the Department of Education, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) announced.

This will “provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with one-on-one tutoring, free courses, assistance in course selection, cultural events, as well as personal counseling, career, and transfer counseling,” the press release said.

Jacqueline Santiago, Student Support Services Program Director and Adjunct Professor, is quoted as saying that the college is “thrilled” to receive the grant and offer students “comprehensive support services.” The program is “designed to promote the success and retention of non-traditional students who begin their studies,” the release said.

“In our global economy, one of our highest priorities should be to ensure that America’s students receive the education needed to compete for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Himes is quoted as saying.

Himes is being challenged for reelection by Republican South Norwalk resident Jonathan Riddle.

One comment

Tysen Canevari August 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm

i think Nancy should reseearch why Marc Damelio dropped the case. Interesting facts to find out

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