Are Local Schools At Risk?

Sometimes ideas are floated within the State General Assembly and little notice is taken until suddenly a new tax or mandate comes forth and voters ask how did that happen?  What would you say if suddenly you found out your child was being bussed to another town to prevent the loss of State aid?

Something interesting happened in Hartford today when the Republican members of the General Assembly made public their 2012 priorities and one item rang alarm bells for small towns across the state.  What is alarming is that little was known about the educational reform proposal they will try to block.  Were you aware of a proposal for forced regionalization of schools?

Here’s what the Republicans have to say on the subject.  Republicans want to, “reject the proposed mandatory regionalization that would force up to 31 small towns with fewer than 1,000 elementary school students to merge with other districts that face losing state aid”.

What does that mean to towns like Coventry?  If the Republicans are not successful the State could be mandating towns like Coventry to regionalize their educational opportunities with those from other towns.  The latest enrollment figures for Coventry as of February 2012 show that Coventry has less than 1,000 students total in grades k-6 in fact the actual number is 917.

The new mandate is not yet in place but the discussion is not over. Local control of education has been a New England tradition that has served our communities well and provided parents a voice in educational opportunities for their children.  Should we change the education model of Connecticut for possible untested financial savings projected by some politicians in Hartford?

Now we know one more mandate under discussion in Hartford.  The question is; do we want regionalized schools or do we want the Republicans to prevail in their opposition to such a mandate?


The following email was just received:

Voice your opinion
Public hearings on the Governor’s education reform bill will be held Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
As your State Senator, I want to make sure you have the opportunity to express your opinions on how we can improve our education system.

Of particular note is a section of the newly proposed Education Reform bill includes a penalty for small school districts.

Under the Governor’s proposal, small school districts serving 1000 students or less will have a portion of their state education grants withheld if that district spends more per-pupil than the state average.

The penalty is $1000 per student multiplied by the “small district reduction percentage.”

In some cases the state could assess the district $500,000 in total education grants and state funding.

There are currently 43 school districts that could be affected.  To see if your district is affected please click here.

Here is a link to the complete bill:

How can you voice your opinion?

Come to Hartford and testify before the Education Committee on Tuesday or Wednesday:

Sign up is from 9:00 am – 10am
Testimony begins at NOON.

Can’t make it:
Submit testimony by emailing by Noon on Monday (2/20)

On Tuesday, February 21st at 1:15pm in Legislative Office Building Room 1E, the public can provide testimony on issues such as:

    • teacher and administrator evaluations
    • teacher tenure
    • performance evaluations
    • collective bargaining
    • teachers’ retirement
    • recruitment grants
    • early childhood education

On Wednesday, February 22nd, at 12:00 pm in Legislative Office Building Room 1E, the public can provide testimony on issues such as:

    • the Education Cost Sharing formula
    • funding for charter schools, magnet schools, and other school choice programs
    • special education
    • competitive grants to districts
    • regional cooperation (penalty proposal)
    • accountability and low performing schools
    • college readiness assessments

I want to make sure you have a voice in Hartford on all of the issues which impact your quality of life.

Please contact me with any questions.  I can be reached at or at 1-800-842-1421.

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Filed under COVENTRY EDUCATION, CT issues

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