Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Stand Up For School Funding


Time to Stop Depending on State Money

(it hasn’t worked so far!!!)

Mayor Hoydick and Town Council Members,

I’m asking you all to take a step back and consider increasing the budget for our Stratford Schools.  The Board of Education’s request for a 4.57% increase is not egregious, and in fact is a necessity if we are to improve our town’s viability!

Our students, teachers, and staff members have struggled through the pandemic, and in order to right the ship we need to bring our system up.

Superintendent Uyi Osunde has acknowledged that our public school system has been recognized as an Alliance District by the state, The Alliance District program is a unique and targeted investment in Connecticut’s lowest-performing districts,” Osunde wrote. “We are one of three other districts added to the Alliance District list which was compiled using pre-pandemic accountability index data. While this is not the optimal news we want, it comes with some pragmatic opportunities for improvement driven by the district’s overall strategy to improve academic performance and achievement for its children.”

Are we again going to the “state well” to obtain funding for our schools?  You do know that eventually the well runs dry.

Question:  If you were, an investor looking for a vibrant community to bring your business to, or a person looking to relocate, would being designated, as an Alliance District and Distressed Community be the elements that would influence you? I think not.

In a January 26th, 2022, article in Investopedia (a publication that targets experienced investors, business owners, professionals, financial advisors, and executives) the importance of a strong school system was detailed.

Key Takeaways from the article was:

  • The knowledge and skills of workers available in the labor supply are a key determinant for both business and economic growth.
  • Industries with higher education and training requirements tend to pay workers higher wages.
  • Differences in training levels is a significant factor that separates developed and developing countries.
  • An economy’s productivity rises as the number of educated workers increases, since skilled workers can perform tasks more efficiently.

Instead of giving 11 Mayoral appointed employees (all of whom have a generous salary and benefit package) salary increases of between 8-12% you should reconsider their increases.  Though on paper the amount may not be the millions needed to lift our schools, “every penny helps”.

Thank you for your consideration.

Barbara Heimlich






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