Parents against school regionalization bills being considered by state lawmakers arrived by the busload today to express their opposition.
There are currently three bills before lawmakers that address the size and proximity of districts with a goal of reducing redundancies and costs.
But parents from several school districts made their way to the Capitol Friday to tell lawmakers “Hands off our schools.”
“Just let the communities continue to manage their own school system. They’re doing a good job of it” said New Canaan mother Jennifer Basch.
She has two kids in town schools and says she doesn’t want anything about how they learn to change as a result of regionalization.
“If you’re bussing kids in and kids are on the bus for a really long time, class size grows. Teachers no longer have such a close knit administration,” she said.
Parents and students had the opportunity to voice their positions to the Education Committee Friday. Also among them was New Canaan parent Maria Weingarten.
“There’s no indication that there’s any improvement in educational outcome. These bills should be killed right from the beginning,” she said.
In the governor’s proposal the state would establish a commission on shared school services that would then create a plan for consolidating school districts. The administration says it would not force any districts together, but moms like Tammy Ward of Wilton disagrees.
“We don’t want to be forced into any type of situation that we didn’t sign up for. We have a great school system we have a strong school system and we want to continue doing what’s right for our students,” said Ward.
Her concern is that merging districts or sharing services in the name of a better bottom line without proper parental input could hurt kids across Connecticut in the end.
“There are different ways to go at it and there are different ways to cut costs. This is not the way to do it,” she said.
Lamont spoke about regionalization earlier this week in Fairfield. A statement sent this afternoon by the governor’s office said quote:
“This is an issue that has strong feelings on all sides, but we have to remember that at the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that our kids get the best education and that we don’t burden our cities and towns by subsidizing inefficiencies.”