School regionalization plans that were proposed earlier this year by Democrats in Hartford would have taken away the local control of our schools. We would no longer have a say in our children’s education or how much tax money would be spent on the school system. This was a threat to our town’s excellent schools and to the values of our homes since quality schools are the largest driver of why people choose to move to and purchase homes in New Canaan.
The current Board of Education did not take any leadership in the fight with the Democrats in the state legislature over school regionalization. While hundreds of local residents mobilized to protest in Hartford, the New Canaan Board of Education dragged its feet.
The New Canaan Board of Education only weighed in two days before the first hearing — despite requests weeks earlier from the Republican Town Committee (of which I am a member) to take a stand, as Wilton’s Board of Education had done. The Wilton Board came out with a unanimous statement against regionalization a month before the first hearing. We on the Republican Town Committee received no response from the New Canaan Board of Education for weeks when we asked for a similar statement.
The fight to stop regionalization was successful this legislative session only because of the hard work of activists such as my wife Jill, and the Hands Off Our School movement, led by Chris DeMuth, and the work of our Republicans legislators in Hartford. That our School Board dragged its feet on taking a stand on an issue that potentially was more threatening to our school quality than anything in decades, is a problem.
As a Board of Education member, I will not only take a public stand when there are threats to our schools that come from Hartford, but also step up as a leader, working with the town and schools to provide oversight and to look ahead to keep our schools competitive and at the forefront of education.