To the Editor:
Our First Selectman Pat Llodra and John Reed’s letter asking people to support the school budget lacks important facts and important information while appealing to people’s emotions. It also violates federal law called “The Hatch Act” whereby government workers (those paid by taxpayers) are not supposed to lobby for increased spending and bigger government. The appropriate person to ask for school budget support is the chairman of the school board.
But since President Obama ignores most of our laws and our US Constitution in favor of his personal opinions, why shouldn’t everyone else?
Pat, where are the facts that show our schools are underfunded? Since 2008, taxpayers have lost some 39 percent of their net worth, but government who is supported by taxpayers keeps increasing spending. Many businesses in Newtown have gross receipts still down over 24 percent. While all retired people’s income has barely budged.
Understand that since approving our new high school addition…our total school enrollment has dropped by some 500 students! And with per pupil spending of around $12,400 per student…that means our schools have about $6.2 million of extra money in the current budget. Additionally, why have town officials failed to tell taxpayers that government projections also show our school enrollment dropping by another 500 students for a total loss of some 1,000 students within the next five years?
Let’s remember our officials all misrepresented the facts concerning the need for our high school addition and as a result we overbuilt for a student increase of some 200 per year…that never happened! In fact, we built some 33 equivalent classrooms when 12 would have been more than enough for just 126 students overcrowded at the high school. No transparency there.
People might not be aware, but Connecticut like California, Michigan, and Nevada, etc, are among the ten most “bankrupt states.” But Governor Malloy’s borrowing to sustain excessive spending, has passed a budget increasing spending some ten percent. Contrast that to New York Governor Cuomo who has put in place a spending cap that limits New York budget increases for the state and towns, etc to 2.5 percent.
Although I’m in favor of building a new school to replace our Sandy Hook School, there are many other facts to consider that should be shared with taxpayers and parents before voting.
Which school are we going to close while building a new school for $60 million to replace Sandy Hook School? I ask, because taxpayers need to consider that if we are going to be down 1,000 students, we do not need six schools! Closing Hawley would save some $12 million in renovation. While closing Reed School would saddle taxpayers with both the cost of the new school plus an additional $12 million to renovate Hawley School. It would also create a very large school system that would have to be lighted and heated etc, while many classrooms would go empty.
Daniel A. Kormanik
178 Hanover Road, Newtown June 3, 2013