To the Editor:
As the third referendum approaches, I would like to take a moment to request that residents vote “Yes!” on Tuesday, June 4 in support of education.
As the school year winds down and we all take time to reflect on an intensely emotional year, there are some very positive moments that have shone through, even on the darkest of days. Our community lost so much on December 14, the ramifications of which we, and our children, will continue to feel for a very long time. One of the many things that amazed me following the tragedy was how our Newtown teachers and school staff, so many of whom are residents themselves, put aside their own emotions and grieving processes and went to work each day to maintain our children's routines, to provide them with an education, to make them feel safe, and to let them know they are loved and protected. I am ever so grateful and in awe of our teachers' collective strength and dedication. I know that I do not stand alone in this belief.
When it comes to supporting the budget, there is always so much difficulty, miscommunication and frustration. In the past several years, it has become a rather toxic process. As a result, we have senior interests pitted against family interests. We have some highly respected principals, assistant principals and a beloved lead teacher leaving our town for better opportunities in other districts. We have talented and dedicated teachers who do not feel valued and supported by voters. This is no way to move forward, for Newtown to be a thriving community with an outstanding school system. We need to invest in our children, our teachers and our schools.
One of the many things our children need now and moving forward is consistency. Our children need to be able to foster relationships with the caring professionals in their schools. We, as parents, need to have consistent staff so that in the months and years ahead, we have an established rapport with those who spend their days with our children, so we feel comfortable reaching out to them for support when we need it. We need our Newtown teachers to feel valued and to continue to be invested in our children, as we should be in them and in our school system.
Deep reductions have already been made three times to the education budget since it was initially put forth by the Board of Education. Please remember to cast your vote on Tuesday, June 4 in support of of education. A “Yes!” vote supports our children, our teachers, our schools, and our community as a whole. Thank you.
10 Grand Place, Newtown May 28, 2013