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Letter: Norwalk School's Numbers Tell the Tale

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to .

To the Editor,

Let's look at numbers. We all like data and are told to use data. From the 2003-04 school year and through 2011-12, the officials of the city – by that I mean Board of Estimate and Taxation, mayor, and Common Council – have provided $27.8 million less than the Board of Education requested. Is it no wonder that some BOE accounts have deficits? Jack Chiaramonte, chairman of the BOE, spoke to this fact at a recent BET meeting, saying that the BOE has had to do more with less.

I have provided a handout (attached below) of BOE requests since 1990 and the city's appropriations. Many of you may remember 2007-08, when the city responded with $5.1 million less than the BOE requested. I will not forget the 2010-11 budget year discussions when again the BOE received $5.1 million less than it requested.

For budget year 2012-13, it is certainly true that the mayor and BET proposed a 3.5 percent cap – still not enough to support the schools – but it was motioned down to a 2.8 percent cap at the Common Council level, and not by the mayor's political party. But who cares about the political party? Who cares about the petty politics? Who cares which party is in control? The students certainly do not care. The students come to school every day wanting to learn, be safe, and enjoy their school, their friends, and staff.

On Tuesday night, the Common Council voted on a resolution which would be one step in the right direction. It states in part: "The Common Council calls on the City of Norwalk to provide the full $4 million needed to cover the deficit and any payment of said assistance be paid at least four years from the date of said notification to the City of Norwalk of said shortage."

The council sent the resolution back to its Finance Committee for discussion at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Parents have organized a march and rally to be held before the meeting, from 4 to 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Updated, 10:24 p.m.

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