NORWALK, Conn. – As city officials deliberate over how much Norwalk should spend on its schools next year, residents are weighing in with the opinion that they want to see more money go toward education.
The Board of Education is looking to spend about $164.9 million on schools for 2013-14, which represents a 3.4 percent increase over this year.
But on Facebook, residents say they want to see the city spend more. The Norwalk Daily Voice asked readers whether they believe the city is spending enough, too much or too little on its schools, and virtually all of the responders said they want to see Norwalk add dollars.
“More money would be better,” wrote Lisa Donohue-Olivieri. “My child's school is understaffed. Her teacher regularly uses her own money for supplies. We need more resources for children with learning disabilities as well.”
The proposed education budget for next year is geared toward trying to restore some of the positions and items lost over the past year when the district was forced to make cuts following the discovery of a $4 million shortfall in previous school spending plans.
Norwalk, like some of Connecticut’s other large cities, also grapples with educating a diverse mix of students from different ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and relies on state funding, which is constantly in jeopardy of being reduced or eliminated.
“It is more about how they are spending it,” wrote Gill Ruehl. “The cuts they made last year were devastating... I understand that sometimes they have to be done, but what is the cost to our children?”
Barbara Sigrid Allen Meyer-Mitchell and Mark Jackson were succinct in their assessments, proclaiming “Too little” regarding how much the city was spending.
But Jill St. John agreed with Ruehl. “How about just spending what they get more wisely,” she wrote. “[We have] enough overpaid administrative people… when did THEY ever teach a kid to read?”
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