Report by Paula Antolini
October 26, 2017 9:44PM EDT
ECS Grant Cut Smaller at 400K & Higher Levels of State Reimbursement Granted for Bethel’s Johnson and Rockwell Schools Renovation Projects
Message from Bethel Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Christine Carver:
Good news all around today! First the state legislature (both the Senate and House) passed the budget. The ECS (Education Cost Sharing) grant cut was much smaller for Bethel (approximately 400K) than any proposed budget or the executive order AND we received the Space Standard Waiver from the Department of Administrative Services for Rockwell and Johnson! This waiver allows for higher levels of state reimbursement on our projects. Thank you to all the support parents, staff and community members gave in writing the Governor and Legislatures in supporting our budget. It made a difference. Click the link to see the letter granting the Waiver.
View letter from the State of Connecticut Department of Administrative Services, Commissioner Melody A. Currey to Dr. Carver:
RE: RMT Johnson School – space saver waiver, Anna Rockwell School – space saver waiver
Dear Superintendent Carver,
First, I wish to congratulate you on a successful referendum on your two school projects. As a former mayor, I am well aware of the time and effort it takes to adequately inform the voters of the vital need of projects that affect our communities.
Secondly, I am in receipt of your request for space saver waivers for the above mentioned schools. I specifically noted a second look at enrollment at the request of Dr. Kosta Diamantis to substantiate your increase in enrollment and the stability of those enrollment numbers over the course of 10 years. It appears those numbers are substantiated.
I have also taken into account the age of the facility and the amount pf work or rather lack of work that has gone onto the buildings and their disrepair. Certainly the case is made for renovation, but I am also hopeful the case is also made that the buildings that we are about to renovate will see themselves with appropriate funding to maintain them properly and efficiently.
I have also noted the specific programming you have offered for each school and review of the Eductional specifications outlining very specific needs based on the age of the students and special education needs within the district. Director Diamantis has informed me of the great efforts you and your team has made meeting our space standards and guidelines. He has informed me that you have met all the challenges he and his team placed upon your team.
Therefore, I shall grant your waiver of 1 percent on the Johnson School and 29.6 percent on the Rockwell School noted the space necessary for special education for children with various degrees of needs and the fact these are existing buildings. Good luck on your projects as you continue to work with our force to complete these projects on time and within budget.
Melody A. Currey