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Fairfield Officials Meet With Democratic Leadership Over School Cuts

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, Majority Leader Hoe Aresimowicz, and Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey meet with Fairfield town officials.
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, Majority Leader Hoe Aresimowicz, and Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey meet with Fairfield town officials. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) joined Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Board of Education Chairman Philip Dwyer for a meeting Thursday about a proposal to slash the state aid to the town's schools to zero.

They were joined by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/ Southington).

The meeting was arranged to discuss concerns about Gov. Dannel Malloy’s most recent proposed educational funding cuts to Fairfield. The proposal would completely eliminate education cost-sharing grants to Fairfield, a total loss of $3.5 million in funding.

“As the legislature prepares to vote on a final budget, tough decisions will be made to address the deficit of over $900 million. Doing this by zeroing out ECS funds to our schools is not the right solution. These cuts would be particularly painful at this late stage of the town’s budgeting process, when there is little way to address or plan for such a large loss of funding,” said Rep. McCarthy Vahey.

“I appreciate the Speaker and Majority Leader for taking time to meet with us, and hearing Fairfield’s voice in this process. I will continue to fight to bring home every dollar I can for Fairfield’s schools.”

Sharkey praised her work. "Rep. McCarthy Vahey is a strong, effective advocate for Fairfield, and she does a great job representing her community in Hartford," he said. "Through efforts such as hosting her local leaders at the Capitol, Cristin continues to ensure that the needs and concerns of her town are being heard every day."

“It was great meeting with the Fairfield town leaders today,” said Aresimowicz. “We understand their concerns and as we move forward in the final weeks of the legislative session, we will be working around the clock to find the necessary efficiencies and savings to balance the budget, without being unfair to our schools and towns.”

“We’d like to thank House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz for making time to meet in this busy and difficult session. We’re glad to join Rep. McCarthy Vahey in advocating for the needs of Fairfield residents and for a reasonable allocation of state aid to our town,” Tetreau and Dwyer said in a joint statement. “We support all efforts to prepare a new proposal that protects town and city aid as much as possible.”

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