An open letter to Connecticut Senators and Representatives,
My neighbors, friends and those passionately involved in Bethel’s successful School System are alarmed at what is going on with the state budget.
The Governor’s latest solution is reprehensible. Educating school children is a “people business.” A $6,900,000 reduction in educational support means Bethel must eliminate 25% of its District staffing. What makes this proposal despicable is hearing that our education dollars, earmarked for “more educational support in poorer communities,” does not have to be used for that intended purpose (to quote OPM Secretary Ben Barnes).
Stripping funding from one effective school system, therein jeopardizing the quality of education for generations of school children, to give more educational support to municipalities who “do not have to use those dollars on education” is inconceivable and irrational.
The Governor is the state’s CEO. Declaring that he does not intend to run for re-election, allows him to insist that state employee unions come to the table so he can secure the real concessions he has been too politely seeking. His legacy can be, “I corrected a fiscal problem for the future of our once respected, envied state,” or can be “I was the Governor when Connecticut deleteriously approached insolvency.”
We know you did not create these budget issues and are working long hours seeking the right solutions, but taxpayers need your leadership now, and your full dedication to resolving this monstrous problem. Trying to convince us that the revenue potential from legalizing recreational marijuana, or the new gaming income from a third casino, or charging 45¢ more for a pack of cigarettes, or from re-instituting tolls on CT roadways, etc. are the answers is shallow thinking and a waste of precious time. We need you to lead and help secure real solutions to the state’s union pension liability and costly healthcare problems, and to secure jobs for residents in poorer communities. The ineffective practice of throwing more money into educational support into poorer communities has not been the right answer to date.
Put your politics aside, put your job on the line, and do the work you each were elected to do.
Save Connecticut’s Future!