If the 2020 Easton Board of Education budget is approved, from 2007 at peak Easton school enrollment through this year, our education budget will have increased by 26% and per pupil spending by 67%, while student enrollment decreased by 25%. Concurrently, from 2007 to 2018, Easton median household income increased by only 1% (CTData.org). This trend is not sustainable.
Town of Easton Annual Reports only began including the number of school employees in 2011. Since that time the number of employees has gone from 161 to 169, an increase of 5%, while enrollment went from 1100 to 904.
It is also of note that in the four years since CT began using the Smarter Balanced test, Easton performance scores have remained flat, averaging 82.5% in English/Language Arts, with a variation of less than 2 percentage points and 77.9% in math with a variation of .5 percentage points.
While it may be disappointing to see performance scores flat, the Smarter Balance growth scores, which measure what percentage of students reach their assigned goal, are concerning. English/Language arts growth scores have dropped by 12% and math growth scores by a whopping 24%. We are in a situation where we are spending significantly more with very little in academic progress to show for it. Easton citizens must insist on more reasonable budgets and better educational results for the money we spend.
Submitted by Sherry L. Harris
On behalf of Citizens for Responsible Government PAC
Sources: Easton Town Annual Reports: https://www.eastonct.gov/finance-department/pages/town-annual-reports; 2018-2019 Town Financial Reports: https://www.eastonct.gov/finance-department/pages/financial-statements; Easton Enrollment Projections through 2023: https://www.er9.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=3283553; Easton Enrollment Projections through 2026: https://www.er9.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=3283555; Connecticut Report Cards at Edsight.ct.gov: http://edsight.ct.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest?_program=/CTDOE/EdSight/Release/Reporting/Public/Reports/StoredProcesses/ConnecticutReportCard&_district=Easton+School+District&_school=+&_select=Submit.
Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) was founded by Easton resident Bud Jennings over 30 years ago and is the oldest PAC in CT. For many years the group acted as a tax watchdog. In more recent years the mission has broadened, and CRG works to protect and sustain the traditional processes of Easton governance, the Town Meeting, by raising awareness regarding important town issues. To see our most recent publication, Important Easton Issues, visit our website at https://www.eastoneye.org/ .