It's time to call out Representative Town Meeting members who let our children down by voting to cut the education budget. As a parent, taxpayer, PTA president and resident, I am deeply disappointed that two of my District 4 representatives voted with the Republican majority for the budget cuts: Joe Palmer and Joe DiMartino.
I grew up in this town and attended Fairfield schools, as did my brother, sister and father. It is disturbing to see a new generation of elected officials who seem to place less value on education. Each year, the school superintendent works hard to develop a responsible budget that is then scrutinized and cut by the bipartisan Board of Education and Board of Finance. Yet the more recent trend involves another round of cutting by the RTM at the very end of the process. These cuts are driven by representatives focused on reaching an increasingly unrealistic magic number that has little to do with maintaining educational excellence.
Meanwhile, Fairfield's Republican state representatives could have made matters worse this year by supporting a $6 million cut in state education funding that helps cities and towns like Fairfield. Luckily, their proposal failed.
In order to continue providing all Fairfield students, including those with special needs, with an excellent education, we must invest in the school system at the local and state level. Children only get one shot at a great education. Some of our elected officials need to get that message.