Report by Paula Antolini
May 18, 2017 4:15PM EDT
OPINION / LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Letter to the Editor from Larry Craybas: Gov. Malloy’s ‘Despicable’ Actions with State Budget Will Destroy Effective School Systems and Jeopardize the Education of Generations
To: All Connecticut Senators and Representatives,
My neighbors, friends and those passionately involved in Bethel’s very successful School District are alarmed at what is going on with the state budget.
Governor Malloy’s latest solutions in response to the rapid deterioration of Connecticut’s financial state of affairs is reprehensible. Educating Connecticut’s school children is a “people business.” A $6,900,000 reduction in state grants and educational support means Bethel must eliminate 25% of our school staffing. What makes this action despicable is hearing that our education dollars, supposedly earmarked for “more educational support in poorer communities,” does not have to be used for that intended purpose (to quote OPM Secretary Ben Barnes).
How dare you even think about supporting this solution, i.e. destroying effective school systems and jeopardizing the education of generations of Connecticut school children, by giving one school system’s educational funding to municipalities that can then use it on something other than education. Question: what level of spending is already going to the School Districts that Governor Malloy is proposing increases for? How much EBT, WIC, Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, Husky, Social Security Disability, Unemployment, State Aid, ECS, etc. etc. is already being provided? If you do not know the answers to this, then how can any of you support a proposal to shift more money to those municipalities? Where is all the current money going? What are the priorities?
The Governor is the state’s CEO. Declaring he does not intend to run for re-election, he can insist that state employee unions come to the table to secure the concessions he has been too politely seeking. His legacy can be “correcting a fiscal problem (frankly that was his to correct from day one) for the future of our once respected, envied state,” or “be remembered as the CEO who was in office when Connecticut deleteriously approached insolvency.” Which label would you choose for your own legacy?
We know you did not create this budget issue and are working long hours looking for the right solutions, but taxpayers need your leadership now, and your full dedication to resolving this monstrous problem, for all of us not just for those voting blocks politicians seek support from at re-election time. Another meeting where all you do is talk and try to convince us that the revenue potential from legalizing recreational marijuana, or the gaming income from a third casino, or charging 45¢ more for a pack of cigarettes, or more options for Lotto players, or from re-instituting tolls on CT roadways, etc., etc., are the answers is ridiculously shallow thinking and a waste of precious time. We need you to lead and to seek the meaningful, real solutions, namely state union pension and healthcare reform, and jobs for residents in those poorer communities where the tried but ineffective habit of throwing more funding into education has been, unfortunately unsuccessful to date.
Put your politics aside, your job on the line, and do the work you each were elected to do … Save Connecticut’s Future!
Respectfully and with hope you act now,