Wait...I'm confused...a surplus when we had to FIGHT to keep the school staff that we have and STILL lose key people? When we had to "borrow" or be "saved" by the city for the screw up causing debt???
Here's some ideas:
*Bring back the FT Librarians (or hire "long term subs" that saved so much money as stated int he article)
*Bring back security guards
*Bring back QUALIFIED FT VP
*Pay the city back
*Bring back the Middle School Sports
*Bring back the aides
I do like the idea of paying into the insurance deficit - as it makes financial sense and will pay off in the long run.
Need more ideas? Ask the parents of the kids in the schools I'm sure we'll have plenty of valid suggestions....
Tell us something we don't know...if only we were one of those households with that kind of income.
It's these kinds of reports that screwed up things like Educational Cost Sharing for communities in Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport in the past. Darien, Westport, Greenwich are so wealthy it skews the average for the surrounding communities.
We for one continually struggle to make ends meet, Norwalk schools are struggling just to keep the bare minimums, while the surrounding towns seem to be doing just fine....hmmmm.... View Comment
If this passed year doesn't speak to how much our kids are suffering I don't know what does. Number one in fights? Really? I see a definite difference in our daughters education - not just with the budget cuts but the loss of an incredible principal as well. View Comment
Unfortunately - as those of you that have been part of this from the beginning know the real mess that's going on...what's more of a shame is that the situation was allowed to get this bad in the first place - by hiring a person to do the accounting that simply was not qualified to to do so....for years...when a qualified person found the mistake that was being made (and missed by the boe)...there was a lot of finger pointing and no one taking responsibility. As a result...here we are not only without librarians, but curricular activities, no sports...nothing. EVEN WORSE - is there'll have to be more cuts THIS year to continue to "pay back". Sad situation indeed. View Comment
We've not only lost our very loved Librarians (we too are working out how to work the book fair - thanks to the people in our awesome PTO we'll have one), we've lost all our Sports programs and ALL after school activities. It's a very tough road - but how to solve the problem - that is the question. And it's only going to get worse going forward as there is a lot of financial ground to overcome for the next 4 years... View Comment
Hi Lisa - I agree with you...to degree...
Our libraries are media centers (at least the ones our two kids are in) - to an extent. We are unable to take them further because the money is not there to do so, but they do have computer labs and other technoligy - but without the library aide who is going to support all that? The IT techs at city hall who are already stretched beyond their time limits? And while media is the major player in today's world - our kids still need to read.
I am against raising taxes as we are all so heavily burdened as it is and there are other ways. Yes I do think most families with children in the Norwalk schools would be willing to pay an additional tax, but I THINK (I'm not sure about the exact #) that only makes up 33% of the tax paying population - I know most of the residents that I've spoken to that do not have kids in the school system are not too keen on paying that tax. They feel the educational system is top heavy and more interested in political gains rather than the welfare of our children - I tend to agree with that.
What disturbs me is that there has been NO consideration of cutting the sports programs. I'm not saying the sports programs are not beneficial - but a good education is more beneficial. I think of it this way - like so many other Norwalk families we are struggling financially - so - we cut out those pieces that we do not necessarily need to survive. Would we be better WITH those pieces - yes - but can we survive without them? - Yes. The schools/our children - can survive with a pay to play sports program but they can not survive without a quality education. Will making cuts to the sports programs solve the entire monetary budget issue? No - but it can help towards it.
The cuts that are being proposed and will likely happen are our vice-principals, our librarians, our intervention aides, team leaders (in MS), security guards, and TWENTY EIGHT kids in a class - with or without aides - that is NOT a manageable number and these are all very key positions - anyone with children in the schools now, and has experiences with these people will (I hope) support that statement. the message being sent is that Sports are more important than a quality education.
Me personally - I plan to take part in going to the state and fighting for Norwalk to get a fairer share of the pie, because it is my understanding that the way the state educational $ proportioned out now is...well...outdated and NOT proportioned out correctly. It is also my responsibility as a parent to do so - after all if we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem.
I also agree that we need to think outside of the box and what is best for our kids - but it seems that political bs is getting in the way. View Comment
While I don't agree that raising our taxes is the answer, nor do I think that ruining our children's education is the correct answer. I don't understand why we are keeping every sport program out there (instead of pay to play), yet cutting education is perfectly ok. the message being sent is that sports is more important than a good education. I also know that other plans have been laid on the table and not even considered. I wish our children were more important - it's their education that is our future, a good school system is what bring families into Norwalk, raising property values. We are losing more than just $ here folks - it's quite scary. Honestly - if we could afford to sell our home and move we would. If we could afford private education - we would. But we can't...and I'm scared for our kids. View Comment
Well said Donna -
COME TO THE RALLY TOMORROW (TUESDAY) 6-8 P.M. - BRING YOUR KIDS - SHOW THE COMMON COUNCIL WE DO CARE - COMMON COUNCIL MEETING IS AT 8 - LETS SHOW OUR PRESENCE. BRING SIGNS BUT PLEASE BE POLITE....
STOP THE PETTY POLITICS AND SAVE OUR SCHOOLS!
I too am a Norwalk native. When my husband and I decided to get married - he was living out of state. I begged him to move BACK to Norwalk so I could be close to my family and bring our kids up in the same town we did. My entire family (parents, 5 siblings with their children and spouses), with the exception of 1 sibling (and her family) have left - because of the school system and the lousy property values.
I too would leave or send our children to All Saints - after all - I went to St. Phillips and Central Catholic - I was TERRIFIED to send our kids to Norwalk Public Schools - but someone convinced me of the same thing you convinced your self with: Be involved, there's more to offer in a public school yadda yadda yadda.
We can't sell our home - we can't afford to - but as soon as we can...we will...and move to a town where the schools are supported.
For at least 4 years I've (and many others like me) had to speak out and fight for our budgets not to be cut, yet again. I do understand the economy - and understand the original cuts - I don't understand why we have to pay for the mistake made by incompetent people hired in City Hall. I don't understand why the VERY people voted into their positions BY US AND FOR OUR CHILDREN, whose job it is to SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN - are not doing so, for their own political reasons. I do not understand why the people involved do not want to take ownership of their mistake and misuse of Norwalks taxpayers money.
Our children all have amazing potential...what a shame that no one can recognize that they are more important than the almighty political gains.
Other proposals have been brought to the table - and they weren't even considered - looked at - without raising our taxes - but alas - to no avail. View Comment
Legal or not...at what point does one listen to plain old common sense?
HOW ridiculous that this is even being considered, or this spot even chosen in the first place, when there are SO many more areas that make more sense?
ANY building in this residential area is ludicrous...thus the term RESIDENTIAL.
I wonder if he (or other supporters for that matter) would be willing to give up his/their house/street/area or wherever to provide space for this building?
At what point do the taxpayers who live in this area AND PAY THE TAXES TO LIVE IN THIS AREA have a say??
One thought/memory. When I was a child, we spent much of our time in the mountains of Vermont. I come from a family of RESPONSIBLE hunters. In other words - we ate what we killed and did not do it in abundance. When I was a teenager, I hammered my brothers, Uncles, Grandfather and Dad on the cruelty of hunting deer. One year, deer season ended early (don't remember the reason). As a result there was an over abundance of deer in the winter. My father brought me out to show me what happens when there are too many deer in the winter and how they die a slow miserable death by starvation. He gently explained to me that deer season does serve a purpose but that does not give people the right to hunt to kill just for the fun of it. On the other side of the CT I have my mother in law in South Jersey where the deer population is so high that they can not even put plants in their window sills as the deer poke holes through the screens to eat the plants (HONESTLY), and they literally walk in herds down the street at dusk. If there is an overabundance of deer in the area - I don't think a REASONABLE deer season would hurt - but certainly not to the point of only 20 deer per square mile.
Just my thoughts. View Comment