The Board of Education celebrated three Newtown Middle School students during its meeting on Tuesday, April 7, for earning awards in the state level of the PTA-sponsored Reflections Program.
“It’s extraordinary to have a local winner. It is extra extraordinary to have three,” said Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, before he introduced the three students, eighth graders Stephanie Cobb and Ashley Solomon and seventh grader Julie Hess.
I am writing to share my concern with the community that the current Charter Revision Commission appears to be rewriting the language that will allow any one political party to hold five of the seven-seat Board of Education. This change ignores what Newtown voters approved in 2008 and as we have seen after the town attorney allowed five Republicans to be seated in 2013, our school district is paying a very heavy price.
I am writing to ask for the community’s support related to an important issue under review right now by the hard working Charter Revision Committee.
As some of you may recall, during the 2013 elections for Board of Education seats, controversy arose when one Newtown political party seated five of the seven member seats, despite a town charter rule intended to limit the number of seats of any one political party to a maximum of four.
At this late stage of the education budget review process, everyone is focused on the cost of transportation, gasoline, heating oil, medical plan savings, etc. Long forgotten by the Superintendent and the BOE is the $2.6M of resources requested by school principals that were denied in January.
On March 2, the Board of Finance continued its review of local budget requests for the 2015-16 fiscal cycle, examining dozens of details in the Board of Education’s $72,253,488 proposal representing a 1.27 percent hike over the current year.
But less than two days later, the district adjusted its budget request to $71,915,679, representing a 0.8 percent increase, because of an action to reduce district contributions to the town’s self-insured employee health plan.
I am writing to you and my fellow residents in Newtown, especially those on the Police Commission and the Board of Education, so that you may know that students are citizens with Constitutional Rights.