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Machlachlan: Regionalization Mandate a Bad Idea

Published Feb. 07, 2019

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Last month, a proposal to regionalize school districts based on probate districts surfaced. In this proposal Clinton, Killingworth, and Westbrook school districts would merge with Haddam, Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, and Old Saybrook.

The proposal has a number of troubling issues, not least of all being another unfunded mandate for our communities to stomach. Forcing municipalities to consolidate into districts of 40,000 students or more may work for cities, but certainly would put a major strain on towns like ours. The state should instead play a supportive role for towns to look at opportunities for shared services as there are plenty to investigate.

Let’s have a conversation about making education and town services more affordable and effective but not with top-down mandates that dilute local control. The best educational decisions are made by local school boards and not by Hartford politicians. I will be voting emphatically “No” on this bill.

Let me know your thoughts on regionalization and shared services at

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