It is said, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity.”
Once again, we are doing just that. Dr. Sal Pascarella has proposed his 2016-2017 school budget to the Danbury Board of Education, a 4.6 percent increase over last year, $5,682,000, for a total of $129,468,000. What is insane about this proposal is the thought that nominal increases awarded by the city will move Danbury education to a better place.
As a point of information, 85 percent of the total budget and 95 percent of the increase are based on contractual increases and health insurance. Year after year, the city has failed to award the superintendent his budget request, therefore requiring significant cuts to his education program at the expense of the children of Danbury. In all fairness to the mayor, it’s not possible for him to put this financial burden on the taxpayers. We must understand that more years of budget cuts will impact the quality of education of our children.
Danbury, unlike many communities, has experienced increased enrollment, creating a need to fund a new middle school, in addition to the costs necessary to educate a large population of non-English speaking students. Next year, additional staffing for D.H.S. will add to the burden.
What is the answer? Join together, become one and support our fight for $33 million, which is the disproportionate share of ESC funding Danbury receives each year. This year, we are establishing a committee to make our concerns known to legislators to make changes in the funding process. Come out on March 10 at a citywide PTO-sponsored meeting to review the proposed education budget and ECS Funding and learn how you can help. It is time to change the results.
Danbury, CT 06810