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Fortunately, the Clinton Board of Education has finally taken my advice and decided to close Pierson School. It should have been done years ago, when I first recommended it. This move has now been described as “seismic” by Board of Education (BOE) Chair Erica Gelven, and from a financial point of view, it certainly should be.
A very conservative estimate of the savings expected from the school’s closing can be found on page 49 of the Clinton BOE budget book. It totals $835,841 for this year alone. I believe it will actually be closer to $1 million per year. You would think that would result in a reduction in this year’s education budget, as well as subsequent years. In fact, closing Pierson School presents a situation where the State of Connecticut allows a reduction in the Minimum Budget Requirement, in recognition of the obvious savings. However, the BOE is nevertheless requesting a significant increase in next year’s budget. Of course, that irresponsible increase, particularly in light of the tremendous savings realized by the Pierson closing, must be voted down.
Town and cities throughout the state are desperately trying to find ways to reduce the unbearable tax burden Connecticut residents face. People and businesses are moving out in droves. Now that the Clinton BOE has come to its senses and decided to close Pierson, it’s imperative that taxpayers see a reduction in their taxes. We cannot allow the BOE to disregard this unique opportunity.
Ultimately, the decision really isn’t the BOE’s, it’s ours. I encourage your readers to vote “No” on the school budget at the referendum on May 8 and continue to do so until a budget is presented that is less than last year’s budget.
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