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Vote No To The BOE Budget And No it Should Not Be Higher



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To the Editor:

While I am in support of Newtown’s educational system, the budget that has been proposed is neither judicious nor vital.

Last year, Newtown residents received a large tax increase due to the property revaluation which will be compounded this year if the BOE budget goes through. Due to inflation the average family is now having to spend an extra $800 a month on living expenses, and those in Newtown living paycheck to paycheck or digging deeper into their retirement funds, it becomes difficult to ask more from the taxpayers when the BOE was asking for a 5.59%, $4.8M increase. The BOF lowered it to 4.41% which essentially brings it back to the Superintendent’s original request after moving $456,000 out to capital non-recurring. By contrast the Board of Selectmen is only asking for a modest 2.75% increase. We offered the BOE a very fair and reasonable increase that was above the rate of inflation but, unfortunately, it was voted down by the Democratic majority on the Legislative Council.

The facts are that over the past 17 years our school enrollment is down by almost 25%, and grades have been in steady decline, but the budget and staffing have continued to increase. We have a high school that is at 70% capacity and other schools that are underutilized.

Newtown is a microcosm of the United States educational system where we are about 2nd in the world in spend per capita yet rank somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of outcomes. The thought that if we just spent more, we are guaranteed to jump to the head of the class. Unfortunately for Newtown, whether it be leadership, culture, or curriculum this has not been the case.

Money does help to the extent that we have nice facilities, ample staffing, and extracurricular activities for the students to participate in, but in the end, it comes down to curriculum and resourcing in an efficient manner.

I believe with our great teachers, a fair budget increase, a reallocation of resources and a refocused curriculum the grades can be improved.


John Zachos

Legislative Council District 3


I am writing on behalf of myself.

Comments are open. Be civil.
1 comment
  1. qstorm says:

    Teachers Union – nuff said.

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