This is a quick note for my neighbors in Fairfield - however, this may be of interest to those of you in other parts of Connecticut, and quite frankly, any of you with kids in public school.
The Fairfield Board of Education is about to bring the hammer down on a $4-6M budget cut. This is not a result of Trump/Devos rape 'n' pillaging (yet), but rather a mandatory cut originating from Hartford, a result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposal to shift educational monies (how I do love saying “monies”) from the wealthier towns in CT (you know who you are) to the Waterburys, New Britains, and Danburys of the world. Many are calling this Connecticut’s “Robin Hood” plan.
I am new to this issue, and do not yet claim to understand in full the merits and flaws of the Governor’s proposal. My plan is to learn more in the coming weeks, and to share what I know with you. If any of you does have an opinion about this proposal, I would love you to use this space to sound off, and educate your fellow Fairfieldians.
What I do know is that these cuts are imminent and all but certain, and that there is a meeting open to the public tomorrow (Saturday) morning, May 18th, 9:30AM in the Ludlowe High School auditorium, which I strongly encourage you to attend. The time is now to show up and make sure your voice is heard. Some program that you and your family rely on may very well in danger of being eliminated.
None of the specific program cuts are set in stone yet, but almost everything is on the table, from the loss of foreign language programs to the possible closing of an entire elementary school. Our high school sports are likely to become “pay to play.” I attended the Fairfield BOE meeting last night, which was chaired by our new superintendent, Dr. Toni Jones. She even mentioned the merging of Ludlowe and Warde high schools as a real possibility - a comment that elicited an audible gasp from the audience.
Many steps will be taken between now and the enacting of the harshest possible eventualities. But make no mistake, this is really happening, now, and you are going to feel it. It was made clear to me last night that this is not a time to sit on the sideline. I would urge to you to a) attend tomorrow morning’s meeting, b) spread the word in your networks, and c) email the entities/people listed below, expressing your concerns, priorities, and values.
I know that none of us wants our property taxes hiked. But we are unequivocally standing between the proverbial rock and hard place. The tools we have at our disposal to defend our childrens’ education are our money, our voices, and our activism. We will need to use all three.
Here are the email addresses you should hit up ASAP to express your thoughts on the matter.
firstname.lastname@example.org (board of ed)
email@example.com (board of finance)
firstname.lastname@example.org (board of selectmen)
email@example.com (Fairfield RTM)
I'll update with more details as I learn them. Thanks all.
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