D'Agostino to Leave Board of Education

In January he'll be sworn in as the State Representative for the 91st District.


When the Board of Education meets tonight, it will be chairman Michael D'Agostino's last appearance.

In January, D'Agostino will take his seat in the state legislature representing the 91st District, replacing the retiring Peter Villano. D'Agostino ran for the seat unopposed in last month's elections.

On Monday he submitted his letter of resignation from the school board effective Jan. 1.

"For more than a decade, the people of Hamden have honored me with the task of helping to improve one of our Town’s most important institutions -- our public school system.  I hope that I have met their expectations," he wrote.

"When I joined the Board in 1999, it faced many challenges.  It still does.  The Board has worked hard, in a bipartisan fashion, to address them. 

"In my last seven years as chairperson, the Board has presented realistic budgets to the town, outsourced services and reformed its purchasing procedures – all in an open process where the public can see every line item.  We partner with our PTAs, most recently to expand after-school programs.  We have a new Middle School, and several new or renovated elementary schools.  We implemented data-driven instruction and have seen steady score improvement.  And we take great pride in our teachers, meeting with them to make sure that they have the support and resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

"There is, of course, much left to do.  Our student population is much poorer than it was a decade ago.  Children are entering our system without basic reading skills.  The number of students with special educational needs has exploded, as has the cost of educating them.

"As the newest member of Hamden’s state legislative delegation, these issues will be my foremost concern.  We must protect Hamden’s share of funding for education, and we desperately need property tax relief.  More broadly, we must build support for our families so they have access to jobs, health care and education -- so that they can build their own families and contribute to our community. 

"The people of Hamden have elected me to do these things, this time in a different arena, but with the same goals.  I hope to exceed their expectations."

Dan Garrett December 11, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Mr. D'Agostino, as a resident of Hamden with two children in the school system, I would like to thank you. Hamden is a great town, and we are very pleased with the school system. Best of luck as a state representative, and thanks for remembering the future of our country, our children.
Thomas Alegi December 11, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Dan, I know your first comment "fd" was an error. The abbreviation of Fixed Deposit is “FD”. Was there a hidden message in your first comment? LOL Mr. D'Agostino Good Luck, you are doing to need it, with the State deficit projected to be One Billion.
Thomas Alegi December 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I wonder if any BOE member thinks about why children are entering Hamden’s schools without basic reading skills, or do they just look at BOE provided educational data sheets. Let me make this comment without looking at any educational data sheets. One possible reason why children are entering Hamden schools without basic reading skills is due to the simple fact. Parents of Hamden school age children are working longer hours just to pay their monthly bills, which includes Hamden’s exploding educational costs. More hours worked by parents less time at home to teach basic reading skills. Therefore, some children enter Hamden school with limited reading skills and other basic skills.
Mario December 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I don't mind saying you are incorrect Thomas. For every working parent you cited, there are others who are not currently employed or living off state assistance who could be working with their students when they are home. Do you really think these individuals are are teaching their children basic reading skills? If you want to solve this dilemma then you need to look at cutting other areas in the school budget and funneling that money into effective pre-school programs for at-risk families and their children. The town will end up paying one way or another...I'd rather see it in early interventions rather than on interventions when older/struggling students are more likely to disrupt the learning process for themselves and their peers.
Thomas Alegi December 14, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Mario, I do not believe I implied that all home learning is the same for all children; I did use the word” some” in the last line of my comment.


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