My name is Adam Parker, and I reside at 70 Wedgewood Drive in Easton, CT.
I am writing to each of you, the Easton Board of Finance, with regard to the proposed budget put fourth by the Easton Board of Education. While I certainly am aware of the challenges you are faced in assembling and approving a balanced budget for the town, however, I do want to highlight what the aftermath may look like by not approving the proposed BOE budget increase of 4.24%.
I am thankful and applaud those of you who took the time to come to each BOE meeting during the construction of the budget. As you know from these meetings, this year’s budget was constructed “from the ground up”… meaning they began with what their contractual obligations were across the board to arrive at a base number. Then, and only did they add items that were deemed absolute necessity. These necessities were items that needed to be removed after last years cut. In summary:
- This year the Helen Keller library doors are closed and locked to students up to 75% of the day.
- Not a single extracurricular activity has funding.
- There is no assigned gym teacher/para to monitor the locker room at Hellen Keller.
- The loss of a kindergarten teacher equaled average class sizes near 21
These are tangible or measurable things mentioned above … and they are unacceptable to say the least. The intangible, which is rarely discussed, is the fact that teacher and staff morale has suffered tremendously due to the constant uncertainty, reduction, and shuffling around. This takes a negative toll on them, and in turn is passed on to our children.
Not approving this 4.2% budget increase would be a deathblow to our already fractured school system. This 4.2% represents only the needs that our school system requires to operate at the standards that we as a town expect … and nothing more. There is no “fantasy” or “luxury” built into this budget whatsoever. I truly hope that the process completes itself, with the children of Easton’s welfare and interests in mind.