Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Letters

Keep Clinton Competitive

As a parent of two teenagers, I have been involved in Clinton education and the budget process for many years. I pride myself in being an informed education advocate and PTA board member. I also strongly believe fiscal responsibility is required. Clinton’s superintendent and Board of Education worked deliberately to meet this responsibility, even when education was upended by COVID-19. No additional operating funding was requested or applied to reopening or COVID-related needs in the current school year. The total 2021-’22 education budget increase is only 1.18 percent. Clinton has the second-lowest cost per pupil expenditure among 11 neighboring towns.

Clinton’s administration, teachers, staff, and Board of Education worked tirelessly to meet the varied needs of Clinton students while adapting to different learning models. Overcoming many challenges, the administration persevered to fully reopen schools earlier than many districts. But there is still much to do to recover from COVID-19. “Kids have had extended exposure to chaos, crisis, and uncertainty,” says MedStar Georgetown University Hospital child psychiatrist Matt Biel. “Schools can’t beg, borrow and steal from what they already have to do this. We need to support schools and school systems with more resources to make this possible.”

As Superintendent of Schools Maryann O’Donnell stated at the Feb. 23, town meeting, “we need to re-engage our students and our families coming out of the pandemic, make up the loss, and accelerate learning.”

I trust every staff member, program, and resource reflected in the 2021-’22 Education budget are necessary to successfully meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our students, and keep Clinton competitive to attract families.

I encourage every parent/caregiver and those who understand the impact quality education provides to vote “Yes” on May 12.

Laura Colebank
Clinton