What Pandemic? Stratford Slashes Student Health Services

Letters To The Editor

By Rachel Rusnak

In an effort to balance the BOE budget after the Town Council failed to fully fund Stratford Schools, the Town has informed St. Mark & St. James schools that they will no longer have access to a full-time nurse. In a letter to parents upon receipt of this news, St. Mark Principal Melissa Warner noted that “Reducing our nurse might make the Town of Stratford’s budget look better on paper and allow for money to be allocated elsewhere; but it is NOT benefitting anyone in Stratford, especially our children.”

As a parent, I elected to send my son to St. Mark in an effort to provide him with the best educational opportunities. Stratford’s designation as an Alliance District, having among the lowest Accountability Index measures in the state, reinforced my decision.

Now, in an effort to balance a budget slashed by our Town Council, Stratford is playing fast and loose with the health and safety of our children. The move has ruffled parents’ feathers, in 24 hours a petition launched to support keeping a full time nurse at both private schools has garnered over 600 signatures.

https://www.change.org/p/full-time-nurse-at-st-mark-school-st-james-school?redirect=fa

As Stratford tax (and private school tuition) payer’s, parents believe that our children deserve access to a nurse every day they are in school. I also believe that the State of Connecticut would agree, since State Statute Sec. 10-217a. reads:

(a) Each town or regional school district which provides health services for children attending its public schools in any grade, from kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, shall provide the same health services for children in such grades attending private nonprofit schools therein, when a majority of the children attending such schools are residents of the state of Connecticut.

Unless Stratford is planning to slash nursing services at its public schools as well, the proposal would appear to violate the State Statute, by not providing equitable access to health services to the Town’s two private schools.

Stratford needs to get its act together, it was a travesty that our administration failed to fully fund our schools, and now will jeopardize the health and safety of our children while still in the midst of a public health crisis. I am loath to consider what dangerous proposal will come next as the Town continues to penalize our children for their poor financial decisions.

1 reply
  1. Paula Sweeley
    Paula Sweeley says:

    Private schools need and deserve the same medical services as public. Parents are picking up the slack of our underfunded and sadly declining school system by paying out of their own pockets. To now cut medical services at those schools is outrageous!!

    Reply

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