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Board of Education Democrats Statement On Proposed Shelton School Budget
February 21, 2021
It’s school budget season again. This year, Covid has made the chronic underfunding of our schools much more palpable than in years past. Shortages of teachers and paraprofessionals, deficits in technology, and the City’s takeover of school bus transportation are just some of the issues felt deeply by parents and families this year.
Recently, the Board of Education announced that they will be seeking a “status quo” budget—one that doesn’t add funding for any new programs, but that preserves the number of staff currently employed. For the last 2 years in a row, the district has received NO new funding—a move that has forced the layoffs of dozens of teachers and administrators. So it’s understandable that the BOE is looking to present a very conservative budget request.
Already, however, City Hall has begun fabricating a narrative that tries to convince taxpayers that school enrollment is declining; therefore, the budget should also be declining, and more teachers and administrators should be eliminated. Unfortunately, the only thing this narrative accomplishes is making clear that our city leadership has no idea how to operate a district budget.
While it is true that enrollment has been gradually declining over the years, the formula for education has virtually nothing to due with the overall student/teacher ratio. First, to rely on such a formula assumes that every class, in every grade, in every school, has the same number of students. Anyone who’s had a student in the Shelton schools understands concepts such as electives, honors and AP programs, enrichment programs, IEPs, extracurricular activities and graduation requirements. Furthermore, acceptance of that narrative must assume that every child requires the same amount of instruction and ignores the critically important role of paraprofessionals, tutors, counselors, social workers, nurses, school resource officers, and janitorial staff.
What City Hall also fails to understand is that Shelton students have options. If Shelton High School isn’t appealing, students can choose go somewhere else, for example Trumbull Regional Vocational Agriculture Center, the Regional Center for the Arts, or Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School. Students choosing to attend these kinds of schools have their tuition paid for through the Shelton Public Schools budget—as Shelton residents, they aren’t removed from, but are included in, the annual budget. In fact, it would be more cost effective to invest those dollars in creating and enhancing programs at Shelton High School in order to encourage more students to stay—rather than directing those tuition dollars elsewhere.
So you see, school funding isn’t a basic math equation; it’s an algebraic problem with multiple variables to be solved for. It wouldn’t be hard for the Mayor or the Board of Aldermen to learn about the many considerations that must be taken when developing a school budget. Unfortunately, they’ve made it clear, year after year, that it’s something they have no interest in, and prefer to spend their time coming up with excuses for their chronic and severe underfunding. This year, prepare to hear the story about the decline in school enrollment— and know that you are now better informed about school budgets than our city leaders.
Shelton Democrats Respond To Violence in Washington
January 8, 2021
The actions displayed Wednesday at the Washington Capitol Building constitute an act of sedition. And horrifyingly, this insurrection was incited and led by the sitting president of the United States with help from Senators Cruz, Hawley and Scalise.
The president and every federal official take an oath of office solemnly swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
The people that stormed our nations’ Capitol are domestic terrorists. The people who incited them to perform this act are also domestic terrorists.
We need to hold these people accountable and defend our country including the President and members of Congress.
Back to the Drawing Board: Voters Reject Shelton Charter Changes
Shelton Herald ~ November 4, 2020
City voters have resoundingly denied proposed revisions to the City Charter, according to unofficial tallies provided by the Republican Town Committee that do not yet include all absentee ballots.
Residents — by more that twice as many votes — denied proposed changes which included elimination of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation, increase of party maximums for elected positions, formation of a citywide technology committee and allowing the aldermen to bond 3 percent of the municipal budget without referendum.
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Shelton Buses FOIA Fiasco ONGOING
April 3, 2020
In clear violation of Federal laws, Mayor Lauretti and the City Government have stalled
efforts to fill a FOIA request made in November, 2019. His decision to take over school
buses was a failure from the start - no buses for first day, and unverified drivers.
Residents demand "SHOW US THE SAVINGS."
The Shelton DTC's Chair, Dave Gioello, has been pursuing the FOIA on behalf of concerned parents and continues to move the legal process forward during the current crisis.