It’s Budget Time: What You Need To Know

The PTO Alliance would like to remind everyone that it is budget time in Shelton.  It’s the time of year where the Board of Education will form a proposal for the City to approve.  This has typically been a difficult situation and while it is improving, we still have a long way to go as a town to give our children the education experience that neighboring communities are able to provide.  Out of 166 districts in the state, Shelton’s per-student expenditures put us at number 162.  That means that 97% of the other districts spend more than Shelton does per student.  Monroe spends $3,000 more per student than Shelton does.  Trumbull spends $2,000 more.  It is not something to be proud of and surely should not be a statistic to draw young families to our city. 

Our state is realigning their contributions and giving more to impoverished towns, and less to communities like ours.  This could lead to a loss of teachers, staff, and supplies.  

Our test scores and achievements prove that our children are working hard and excelling with less, but if we had more resources for them, we could do a lot better.  Local private schools are going to be closing, and new housing developments are being built in our city.  Our already-full schools will become more crowded.  Advocating for more funding in the midst of this is our duty as parents.  Our district would like to adopt a goal of pulling our test scores slightly higher so that our schools fall in the top 25% of the state.  

We surely cannot achieve this commendable goal with less.

As a city, it is not unreasonable to request for our per-pupil expenditures to be near the median and not in the bottom 3%.  With sufficient funding, we risk losing important parts of our school system.  One example of this might be our AP and UConn courses at the high school.  We also have a School of Innovation being created within SIS that will lead students to experience in the STEM Lab that will be offered at the high school.  A loss of funding could bring back the negative situation of Pay to Play. This could cause many children to lose the opportunities that athletics or the arts provide for them.

What is suggested would be for you to contact your Alderman and recommend that they approve the Board of Education’s modest budget proposal.  This is by no means a frivolous budget, nor is it promising any major changes.  But it will allow Shelton to operate as needed without any major reduction in staff or supplies.  Please see the attached list of our elected Aldermen and their contact information.  They cannot know how parents feel if nobody reaches out to them.  The time to contact them is NOW.  If we wait until the last budget meeting, it will be too late.

If you’re not familiar with our Board of Aldermen, please know that they are a well established team of elected officials.  They deserve respect regardless of whether you agree with them or not.  I am encouraging you to write to them and express your feelings – but to please do so without hostility or negativity.  I will separately send you the letter that our PTO Alliance intends to send each Alderman along with a link to show the statewide expenditures per student.  Also please find a list of Aldermen and their contact information.

Thank you

Diana Davis, Carla Bucherati, Sarah Bergers

PTO Alliance

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Created by parent volunteers for the Booth Hill PTO in Shelton, CT