Where: Fairfield Hills campus building, 3 Primrose St.
When: Wednesday 10/17/12 7:30. For any finance people, the 7:30 joint session is preceded at 7:00 by the joint finance meeting.
From what I understand, at tomorrow's meeting, the Board of Selectman will be putting pressure on the BOE to move the process of closing a school along more hastily than the BOE reported two weeks ago.
The agenda has the following item:
A Discussion with the Board of Selectman, Board of Education and Board of Finance on the 2013-2014 Budget cycle.
We believe this meeting is in response to 4 issues that have been raised by Newtown Elected Officials and their impact on the budget:
1. The desire by many in Town Government to start the process to close an elementary school
2. The question of whether or not the Hawley HVAC project (3 Failing Boilers, "Air Quality Issues", Contaminants ) should be undertaken (at least one LC member is questioning this publicly)
3. Full Day Kindergarten
4. Pressure to keep the overall budget to 0% increase
School closures- I would focus on the risks of closing a school, and if it comes to a point at which a closure makes sense, then the choice of schools should be made with maintaining quality education and providing the best educational environment as driving forces. (Focusing on how people love HOM won't appeal, since all the board members' kids went to other schools and those schools are loved, too).
My concern is that when budget time comes, the Board of Finance or Legislative Council will make a cut so severe, that a school closure will be forced. I was told this, last year, by a LC member in a private conversation. The school closure will be intertwined with the budget.
Budget- Last year the budget vote failed 4 times and parent involvement and voting was low, so I feel that it would be helpful for as many people as possible to state publicly at the meeting on Wednesday, that there will be a strong effort to get the budget passed this year, on the first try… If the proposed budget supports the students and without programs lost or denigrated. I personally feel that the first budget brought to referendum should always offer, AT MINIMUM, Status quo services. We should never be voting on a budget which offers less to the students than the year before (including programs, class sizes, etc..)
Last, if we can encourage other PTAs to be vocal and state that they will be working to get the budget passed, that would be extremely important. The years that the PTAs were most involved the budgets have passed on the first try. The PTAs can be a major force to minimize cuts to the budget and to get the budget passed.
Here's the complete agenda to the meeting.
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We are stronger together so please come out to support OUR kids.