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2023 Budget Season

  • Response to the Common Council’s Feb. 28 discussion of the FY2023-24 Budget Cap

    As we wait for the Common Council to set a budget cap for FY2023-24, the Norwalk Board of Education and I want to address several lingering questions regarding our request for more funding from the City of Norwalk to maintain a level of operation that our scholars and our families have come to expect from…

  • No budget cap yet from agonized Council members as Grand List is again delayed

    NORWALK, Conn. — Common Council members pushed their budget cap decision back another week Tuesday after being presented with an unfinished Grand List calculation, even if the deadline for its completion had passed. In addition to many pleas from parents for school funding and Council responses detailing the difficulty of the task, sharp words were…

  • Where’s the data?

    This is an lightly edited version of a letter sent to the Board of Education and the Common Council.   While I believe strongly in funding our schools, I have concerns as to why important questions have not been answered during this budget cycle. In recent weeks we have heard about the threats of not…

  • Norwalk political roundup: Truths and rumors

    Norwalk political roundup: Truths and rumors

    NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political information for you, all related to the City finances: Tax Assessor lives nearby Dachowitz responds to Meek/Brinton criticisms A look at Brinton’s “no infrastructure improvements,” “tax credits” statements

  • Norwalk CFO blasted as Council Committee delays budget cap recommendation

    Norwalk CFO blasted as Council Committee delays budget cap recommendation

    NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz defended his department Thursday after two Common Council members took aim at what they said was a pattern, an information gap that had prompted the Council Finance Committee to delay deliberations on the coming operating budget and its impact on Norwalk Public Schools. With no Grand…

  • Norwalk political notes: Budget items

    Norwalk political notes: Budget items

    NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you: An explanation for $32K increase in NPS superintendent cost in budget documents Meek’s voting no, except on ARPA spending Livingston also seeks 6TD answers: why the steep mill rate increase?

  • Now is not the time to give our students less

    Now is not the time to give our students less

    I have been grateful to serve on the Norwalk Public Schools Board of Education since 2021 following a more-than 40-year career as an educator. And with that experience, I know one thing is certain – as students begin to regain a sense of normalcy and belonging following two years of pandemic-induced trauma and interrupted learning,…

  • Norwalk political notes: 2023-24 budget machinations

    Norwalk political notes: 2023-24 budget machinations

    Dachowitz explains Rowayton forecasted 6% mill rate increase NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you, all related to the budget: Grand List calculation delayed – again Rilling chooses two for Tax Board, bringing it to ‘full staffing’ as arduous budget work set to start Frayer asks: Why does Rowayton face a 6% tax…

  • An Open Letter to Mayor Rilling, members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the Common Council

    An Open Letter to Mayor Rilling, members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the Common Council

    It is a difficult time to lead. This is a long one, and I hope you’ll stick with me until the end. In past years, when I have come to address the Council, Mayor, and BET at public comment during the budget process, I have spoken to what I know is the desire and motivation…

  • Rilling recommends budget; NPS would receive 4% increase

    Rilling recommends budget; NPS would receive 4% increase

    NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s operating budget would increase 2.46% in a recommendation made by Mayor Harry Rilling. A $6 million drawdown from the “Rainy Day Fund” is planned. The City-side of the budget would increase .75%, a negligible number fueled by an expected $12 million in employee benefit savings and Rilling-inspired City department austerity. The…

  • Response to the Mayor’s recommendation for the 2023-2024 Operating Budget

    Response to the Mayor’s recommendation for the 2023-2024 Operating Budget

    Coming into this year’s budget season, Norwalk Public Schools understood the uphill battle we faced in securing the funding necessary to ensure all our scholars had the tools to be successful in the classroom, stay socially and emotionally healthy, and graduate future ready. With the Mayor’s recommendation of a 4% increase, announced at the Common…

  • Partnership can work

    Partnership can work

    Many have said that this will be a challenging budget cycle. I do not disagree, but I do feel that we are looking at the challenges we are facing with the wrong lens. In recent weeks, I have sat in on presentations from both the City and the Norwalk Public Schools (NPS). I have read…

  • NPS Family Center is the heart of Norwalk community

    NPS Family Center is the heart of Norwalk community

    For families new to the district, we want to make sure they receive a warm welcome to Norwalk and receive any help they need to make sure their child gets off on the right foot. In our creation of the NPS Family Center, we are helping to engage families in a more direct manner, providing…

  • Democrats to Lamont: Ease fiscal restraints for CT schools’ sake

    Democrats to Lamont: Ease fiscal restraints for CT schools’ sake

    Leaders of the Democratic legislative majorities, intent on seeking greater education aid for municipalities, are urging Gov. Ned Lamont to relax some of the fiscal restraints that contributed to the state’s huge surpluses and the governor’s overwhelming reelection in 2022. Lamont and Democratic leaders, who opened talks Wednesday, downplayed their differences in interviews Thursday, noting…

  • South Norwalk Neighborhood School is needed

    South Norwalk Neighborhood School is needed

    Norwalk Public Schools is committed to engaging our families, including them in their child’s academic success, and making it easy for them to be an active participant in their school community. Over the last 40 years, families in South Norwalk were not afforded the same level of accessibility to their child’s school as other families…

  • Before I can support the budget (or not), I need to know …

    Before I can support the budget (or not), I need to know …

    I’ve been wanting to put down in writing what I’m missing in this year’s budget circus. Year after year, I feel like every player has left much to be desired in terms of details, and this year in particular, I think it behooves those players to not play charades with parents. As succinctly as I…