Bob Forcellina is the co-founder of We The People of Fairfield, a taxpayer advocacy group. He submitted this letter to the editor in reference to the recent debate about school spending in Fairfields Representative Town Meeting.
Every Fairfielder should read the recently published article in the Westport Patch.com written by Nathan Allen about Why Connecticut's Schools are Lagging when compared to other schools across the country.
In conclusion, the fifth to last paragraph says it all: "Many complain that Connecticut needs to spend more money, but the fact is, we already have it we just dont spend it effectively. Connecticut spends more on public K-12 education per capita than 47 other states, including Massachusetts. Connecticuts per capita education tax burden is similarly higher than 47 other states, again including Massachusetts. And Connecticut boasts the highest state debt per capita and has for many years."
Please consider that Fairfield has got to rein in its educational spending somewhere. Dr. Title has said no to eliminating/reducing the house system, no to eliminating/reducing the curriculum leaders, [that] he can't move toward 23 students per class because of contractual mandates. The Assistant Superintendent position is already in this years budget. Dr. Title thinks hiring summer school principals to run the summer school program is fine because that program is "self-funding." The only items left on the table seem to be the school psychologists, teacher improvement costs and that's if we're lucky.
We The People want every school parent to envision where these costs will lead us five years down the road. No doubt a great school system is important in order to maintain our home values; however, if the taxes on that home are higher than the towns that surround us: Westport, Greenwich, New Canaan, etc., then we will lose those buyers to those towns because it makes more sense to buy a more expensive house and pay less taxes than it does to buy a cheaper house and spend more in taxes each and every year.
I want to thank all WTP supporters who emailed the RTM in favor of the proposed reductions. It is time now to address the bargaining units -- police, fire, educational administrators, para-professionals, custodians, other educational staff, etc. Teachers and town hall employees (THEA) have already made significant sacrifices. It is the hope of WTP that the other bargaining units will follow their lead.
Please join We the People of Fairfield as we approach this next budget year. Email us at email@example.com .
We the People of Fairfield
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