Letters to the Editor: Nothing requiring change at McKinley, Connecticut is almost bankrupt
Published 2:50 pm, Friday, March 30, 2018
There is nothing in state law specifically requiring the Fairfield Board of Education to deal with any alleged racial imbalance at McKinley school. There is only a regulation adopted by the appointed members of the state Board of Education in 1980. That is a difference with a distinction.
None on today’s locally elected BOE seem to understand, or even acknowledge, that difference exists. None on today’s politically appointed state Board of Education want to deal with the difference, if they even know it exists, either. And nobody seems interested in the history of the law or the regulation even though it is readily available from the non-partisan Connecticut Office of Legislative Research https://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/rpt/2010-R-0249.htm.
The regulation was adopted in 1980, more than 10 years after the state Legislature put in place general law designed to combat racial segregation in Connecticut schools. The regulation could very easily be challenged by the local BoE with just a little nudge from the local electorate. It could also easily be modified by the state BOE with a little nudge from the state Legislature.
The the law only says that any school in Fairfield which “has a minority enrollment that is “substantially” above or below the level of that of the district overall” shall be considered to be racially imbalanced and in need of corrective action. It is only the 1980 regulation that defines “substantially” as 25 percentage points. That number was picked out of thin air by the state BOE more than 30 years ago.
Any social scientist with elementary knowledge of statistical analysis could blow the rationale behind the 25 per cent number out of the water. There might even be a lawyer or two in town who can count past 10 and push to get the regulation updated.
The folks who get to send their kids to McKinley school, one of the newest in town, like their school. The students like going to their neighborhood school, too. The town can and should move beyond this unnecessary bureaucratic agita coming out of the state capital. But doubtful it will anytime soon.
To the Editor:
Despite being the fifth richest state in the nation, Connecticut is on the verge of bankruptcy. Just a few months into the fiscal year and we are already facing $250 million revenue deficit in Hartford, despite having passed a balanced budget just a few months ago. How could this happen?
For nearly 40 years, Democrats have controlled the state Legislature and with it the state budget, to include spending and tax policy. They have followed a tax-and-spend philosophy that they hoped would stimulate economic growth with disastrous results. The growth never came and the debt continued to pile up. In response, they raised taxes on the wealthy and corporations to the point that Fortune 500 companies, such as General Electric, jobs, and top income earners have left the state. We are losing jobs left and right, and for every three people moving into the state, four are leaving and they make $150,000 or more. They are taking both their jobs and income tax revenue with them to another state.
Even though the wealthy and corporations are leaving, the debt that the Democrats in Hartford have amassed at the state level will remain and must be paid for. Couple that with the most generous public employees benefits package in the nation and an agreement signed by Gov. Daniel Malloy that makes it nearly impossible to lean out the state government, and you end up with liabilities that exceed your revenue. That means that the state must either raise the sales tax, cut services, or pass the debt to the towns and cities through cuts in aid, just as Malloy had proposed doing this past fall. In fact, Malloy proposed cutting millions of dollars in education funding for Fairfield. The Town of Fairfield sends over a quarter of a billion dollars in income taxes to Hartford and we get almost nothing back. If you raise the sales tax, cut services, or pass debt to the towns which can only be serviced by raising property taxes, then the middle class, poor, and seniors on fixed income will get hit the most.
So, despite the promises made to them, those who can least afford it will be stuck holding the bag after decades of irresponsible Democratic spending and bad policy. A perpetual cycle of poverty and a lack of upward mobility for the middle class.
Deceitfully, Malloy waited until just after the last election to announce his planned cuts to Fairfield and neighboring communities. Those cuts would have directly affected Fairfield’s children if not for the efforts of state Sen. Tony Hwang and state Reps. Brenda Kupchick and Laura Devlin, who fought back on behalf of our community and our children. But they can only fight for so long unless changes are made in Hartford. That is going to require a change in control of government at both the state house and the governor’s mansion. Malloy’s planned cuts in aid are the blue print for the future if Democrats retain control of the state house and governor’s mansion. No growth and higher taxes would be inevitable.
National politics remains a mess and a distraction that the Connecticut Democratic Party will point towards in an effort to take the spotlight off of their disastrous record. Don’t be fooled. After nearly 40 years of control of the Legislature and 8 years of the governor’s mansion, they should be able to run on their record instead of trying to invoke national politics. The problem is that they can’t. Their record is one of financial ruin for our once prosperous state. We simply cannot afford it anymore. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. In this case, that would be sending Democrats back to Hartford and expecting them to fix our states economy.
Our town and our state are at a crossroads. We will all have a chance to vote for the presidency of the United States again in 2020. This year, 2018, the issue on the ballot is Connecticut’s economy. It’s the livelihood of our state and the future of our children. It’s about ending a perpetual cycle of poverty and the lack of upward mobility for the middle class. Its about seniors on fixed incomes who built our community being able to afford to stay here. It’s about stimulating economic growth and creating jobs that will produce the tax revenue to prevent taxes from going up and services from keep for those who need it most.
We have a choice to make this fall.
To the Editor:
I wish Steven Gaynes had shared with his readers just where in Bridgeport he teaches, for it would have helped me gauge the spirit of his convictions.
To the Editor:
I hope this note finds you in the best of health and unaffected by the recent hawk attack pandemic. I wanted to offer some helpful tips to avoid being victimized by these dreadful raptors controlling the skies and our backyards, trees, and jogging routes. I urge our female population to either wear camouflaged hats or visit the salon for a short hair style.
Hawks can mistake a pony tail for a squirrel, the “layered look” for a rodent, a bob cut for a rabbit, and a bun for a chipmunk, all of which these devilish dive-bombers enjoy as meals. Second, for all hawk owners, similar to the recent dog leash law which were recently enacted (and very much appreciated), please keep your hawks on a leash.
The police department are enforcing the hawk leash laws and you may receive a ticket for being afoul of the law. Third, lets organize ourselves into neighborhood hawk watch groups and place signs in the areas affected to let these Red Tail, Rough Legged, Coopers, Osprey, Sharp Shinned, Broad Winged, and Red Shouldered feathered felons who’s boss. This airborne aggression will not stand. If need be, the brave men and women of the fire department will once again be called on to teach these unteachable creatures a lesson in firepower.
Through vigilance we will get through these trying times together.
I remain your dutiful neighbor,