Thursday, April 26, 2012

Schools PTAs Urge Parents to Support School Budget

The Board of Education goes before the Common Council this evening at 7pm to make its case for the 2012-2013 School Budget.  Mayor Drew said he would flat fund the educational budget on April 3rd, which would mean cuts of almost $3.5 million to amount the BOE has asked for.

School PTAs are urging parents to attend tonight's meeting to show support for the budget as proposed.  Interim Superintendent Dr. David Larson is expected to comment on at least the following arguments in support of a fully funded budget:
·         A 0% increase is less than a current services budget because of salary and benefit contracted increases.
·         78% of the education budget goes to instruction
·         75% of the budget is for salaries and insurance benefits
·         Maintain class size
·         Need for school librarians/media specialists to support the implementation of the common core – new national standards for education.
·         Need for interventionists to support our required SRBI (Scientifically Researched Based Intervention) implementation and the Common Core.
·         Update of our Student Information System to Power School to improve communication with parents and students as well as organization and access of student data (i.e. grades, enrollment, attendance…).
On April 17th, former BOE Chairman Ted Raczka, now the Budget Committee Chair, commented on what the loss of millions would do to the school budget:  "Extra-curricular activities will start to go, and if we're short millions, we will have to look at staffing levels.  Most of our retirements were done last year, and so it's not a good picture."  Raczka went on to say, "The reason I'm sitting over here at the end of the table [referring to where he sits at BOE meetings] is because I want to see money spent in classrooms.  I don't care about politics.  If you look at our funding compared to other communities, we're not getting it, and we're going to suffer because of that."

Raczka mentioned that he thought the Common Council would put some of the money back, but in the end, Middletown as a whole has to be serious about funding a quality education.

{Author's Note:  If you don't know what Common Core refers to, it's the new national standards for education coming out of DC.  Connecticut adopted the standards on July 7, 2010.  Click here for more information.}

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