Heavy support for Board of Ed funding hike
Fears that school programs and teachers might be cut, speakers at the town’s first budget hearing urged Town Council members to support an increase in Board of Education funding.
Dozens of speakers approached council members at Monday night’s public hearing to advocate for a 2.75% increase in the Board of Education’s budget for the 2017-18 budget.
Many of the speakers were teachers and students in Stratford’s public schools.
Parents also made their way to the podium.
Many in the audience at Stratford High School’s auditorium held up green “support 2.75%” signs, echoing Council Chairman Beth Daponte’s recommendation for a spending increase.
Daponte’s proposal would increase the schools budget by about $2.93 million.
“Please remember that behind the numbers are the hearts and minds of our children, their futures and their future contributions to society,” she added.
Feehan said there had been only 131 signatures on the petition out of a town of more than 52,000 residents, suggesting that calls to freeze a spending increase were not overwhelming.
Former Board of Ed chairman Andrea Veilleux, who has been critical of the Board of Ed’s spending, said she’s looked at the Board of Ed’s proposed budget and found “a consistent pattern of behavior of providing incorrect or incorrect financials and performance data” in the schools.
His idea is to fund the proposed schools increase and use about $500,000 for mill rate relief.