Is Our Children Learned Yet?

Clearly our town is hellbent on turning out thousands of uneducated kids in the future as New Milford has frozen the school budget for the second year straight. This is from an email that is circulating around and was forwarded to myself by more than one person:
Dear Friends,

Below is a letter I sent to NBC 30 today.

According to emails circulating from the New Milford Town Wide PTO; "The School Board [for the town of New Milford] requested for 2010-2011 school year a budget of 58.73 million. The Town Council only approved 56.945 million -a 0% increase- cutting nearly 1.8 million. This is the second 0% budget increase in a row! The Town Council's cut will have a deep negative impact on the quality of education of our children not only this year, but in future years as well."

As we are all aware, we are in the middle of an economic recession, which has affected not only the economy, but has also changed the job market. Those fields that once insured you a job with security no longer exist. Children need a different set of skills/knowledge to compete in college and in the real world. Skills and knowledge that children will not completely be able to absorb and reapply if they are crowded in classrooms with teachers, administrators, and support staff that are overworked, underappreciated, concerned with meeting standards, and worried about keeping their jobs.

With this budget cut, New Milford stands to lose excellent, highly qualified, talented teachers to not only other districts but other states. Passing this budget will result in the demise of the academics within this town, further increasing the gap of achievement. This lack of increase in the budget will result in larger classes, more stress on Special Ed and ELL students and teachers, as well as a lack of support staff within the buildings.

It is extremely important for the public to know about the possible cuts (38 teachers) to the New Milford Education system. There are two meetings to discuss these issues: March 30, 7:30 at Sarah Noble Intermediate School and April 1, 7:00 at Sarah Noble Intermediate School in New Milford.
The fact that the state of Connecticut has already served up one idiot extremist who we had the great misfortune of watching go on to higher office in this nation is disgraceful enough. Do we really want to be producing thousands more semi-epsilon-moron-minuses' to lead this nation into the future?

My daughter actually mentioned this to me when she got home today and said that "hundreds of students" planned to show up to the meeting tomorrow night. I suspect there may not be enough room for them all to get in there if their taxpaying parents form both sides of the political dance are there, as well. We shall see...

Typically I don't cover local town politics that much. For this meeting? I plan on being there myself. I know that my Blog covers mostly national politics so for most of my readers this post is meaningless but for those of you that are from this town that read this place?

Please do yourself a favor and show up.

There is a Facebook group to help show support for keeping our schools functional and for stopping the right wing from destroying our future while using the present disaster they created and we are going through right now as a reason for it.

And for those of you don't get it... This is all about taking advantage of their free market failures and using it as an excuse to starve Public Education. Then once they have made a Public Education bad enough they will propose privatizing it with vouchers and other free market stupidity. And don't think your kids will benefit from the good private schools unless you are obscenely rich.

You are witnessing - first hand, up-close and personal-like - disaster capitalism at its worst.


Jeff Winter said...

Thank you for taking on this important local - and national - issue. Your smart perspective is a welcome addition to the conversation. I hope you'll weigh in more often.

Connecticut Man1 said...

I wish I could follow local politics more but my obligations (and personal interests) in covering national politics and pushing national issues eats up the time I would need to gather adequate background information in order to tackle most local issues responsibly.

But this issue? It is one that is going on across the nation and it has to stop. We need to invest more in the kids everywhere, not less. I feel worse for the towns that are having budget issues collide with their very real need to improve their schools. We are only fighting to keep our local school system from deteriorating. An enviable position in comparison.

And thanks for the comment. :)

JW said...

I enjoy the national scene, too, as a transplanted Minnesota Humphrey/Mondale supporter. The whole New England town government thing is was new to me, and it is an excruciating, frustrating, mind numbing process. But, I have found that a small, dedicated team of people can make a big difference. Too bad the local Dems are so poorly run - their opposition is weak at best.

Once again, thanks for your great perspective!

Life As I Know It Now said...

Teachers here in our community are being laid off and class room sizes are supposed to be increasing. This issue is nationwide and IS a national issue.

libhom said...

Until the rich pay their fair share in taxes, a lot of schools in a lot of places will be cut.