Written by AJ Rai |
On May 14 , 2014, the voters of Clinton, Connecticut voted down the Board of Education 2014 budget: 1,315 to 1,327. The budget was defeated by only twelve votes. As a result the next referendum will be held on Wednesday June 4th, 2014.
The town’s bipartisan boards, education, finance and selectmen have worked on the budget extensively for a year. Prior to presenting the budget to voters, they cut over $600,000 from the budget. The new budget that is proposed is cutting $110,000 from the education budget, and this money is being taken from multiple areas. In reality, the students are losing more money from their education. As students of The Morgan School, we know that we do not need anymore budget cuts.
There are many places where the Board of Education has been saving money. The Board of Education just entered its first year of a five year contract for transportation services for students saving $280,000 over the life of the contract. The Board of Education also factors in $150,000 in savings from utilities, transportation and printing. In addition, The Board of Education through reorganization and by developing new programs has saved over $750,000 in special education costs. The savings will increase during the 2014 to 2015 school year by reducing transportation costs for special education students.
If this referendum vote was to fail, there would be even more cuts to the budget. Once the vote is in place the public does not get to determine which line items must be cut for the new budget proposal. This makes it more difficult for the Board of Education because all line items are valuable. Faced with these tremendous decisions, the Board must then determine which are more valuable than others.
If the Board of Education budget were to fall below the state’s minimum requirement then the Town of Clinton would be forfeiting more than $6.5 million in grants.
In comparison to other surrounding shoreline towns Clinton has increased their educational budget the least since 2011.
( Click on image to be directed to the budget 2014 information site)
Students and townspeople must vote on Wednesday June 4th. If you are not registered to vote, you can register on Tuesday: June 3rd, 2014. Clinton’s designated Election Day Registration location is in the office of registrars in the basement of the town hall.
As a graduating student at The Morgan School, I have learned how valuable each piece of this community is, including our school systems. We aren’t just an awkwardly shaped building. We are an awkwardly shaped building with faculty on the inside that care about their profession, that care enough to be the difference in lives of many students. So, voting no affects more than just the people in this building, it affects the students and the community. In Clinton we are a family made from many different origins, but we always com together as one.