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Monroe, CT

School board supports 6.87% budget hike

I guess you and your wife don't work under a union contract. The increase requested by the BOE is simply the numbers that are being driven by contracts, state & federal mandates, and reduced funding from the state. We may not like it, but it is reality.  (Jan 19, 2010 | post #12)

Monroe, CT

School board supports 6.87% budget hike

First, Mr. Trump was discussing how much of the increase was contractual or mandated or simply resulted from less money coming in from the state. He was correct in his numbers. Second, Dr. Palmer made clear that if we want to reduce the quality of education in Monroe and drive up class sizes or cut class offerings, then we can reduce the increases. She said many times in the budget process that significant dollar amount cuts can only come from reducing staff. All you have to do is look at what makes up the greatest portion of the school system expenses to know that she is correct. Lastly, where do you get the idea that the average person is living with a zero percent increase? If you have suggestions for specific reductions to the educational system, or any other place in the town budget, then why don't you post those specific items.  (Jan 19, 2010 | post #11)

Monroe, CT

Monroe's new leader prepping for fast start

It must be nice to have simple solutions that ignore minor things like contracts or federal/state laws.  (Nov 21, 2009 | post #10)

Monroe, CT

Monroe's new leader prepping for fast start

What do you mean by increasing taxes equal to inflation? I ask that because most of us forget that what we call inflation is the CPI, which is actually a "market basket" of goods and services that affect consumers (the C in CPI). It does not measure the increase in costs of running a town or education system. I think we all need to understand that the items that make up the costs of running our homes is significantly different than running a town.  (Nov 21, 2009 | post #9)

Monroe, CT

Monroe's new leader prepping for fast start

Don't you understand that the republicans have controlled the BOE and BOF "forever "? Now they control those same bodies with even a greater majority. The BOF has always been able to reduce the BOE's budget, after the first selectman took his action. By what logic do you expect more Republicans to act differently than they have in the past? As to new business - what can you get without sewers and where are you going to put all these businesses?  (Nov 21, 2009 | post #8)

Monroe, CT

Monroe's new leader prepping for fast start

I wish Mr. Vavrek well. He will be faced with large education expenditures, roads that are falling apart, buildings in need of repair, etc. Now that the republicans control all four major offices, it will be interesting to see how they manage the town. You know the old saying - be careful what you wish for.  (Nov 9, 2009 | post #1)

Monroe, CT

Pam Nicotera and ACORN

The voters have spoken. They increased the number of republicans on both the BOE and Town Council (both of which they already controlled). The republicans also already controlled the BOF. So now lets see what our budgets look like.  (Nov 9, 2009 | post #27)

Connecticut Post

Monroe Town Hall roof included in projects list

I would hope that it is in addition to the stimulus money. I have been told that $250 - $300K per mile is reasonable depending on the amount of work to do. Keep in mind that a study done within the last year or so identified $63M of needed repairs over the next 20 years. One simple way to view this is that we need to spend about $3M a year on road maintenance. Given the conditions of our roads already, I would expect that we should be spending even more per year over the next few years just to deal with the worst of the roads.  (Jun 9, 2009 | post #5)

Connecticut Post

Monroe Town Hall roof included in projects list

The article says that a Town Meeting would be called, if the project is approved by the Town Council. As a voter, I don't need to know how many square feet the roof is or any of the other individual costs of the project, but if the town follows past projects, much if not all of that data will be available. Also remember that there will be multiplt bids. As a voter, I need to know that multiple people, including those with real knowledge, have looked at this project and determined that it is necessary. I suspect that you will be told that doing all the dooors and windows at one time will be less expensive. Also, if we are going to bond for this, it makes much more sense to do the bonding in one transaction.  (Jun 9, 2009 | post #4)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

One problem with your logic, is that band is one of those "other areas of interest" that colleges look at when making decisions. A second problem with your logic is that class selections for the fall have already been done.  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #47)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

This is not an issue of declining enrollment. It is about elimination of programs where there are plenty of students. Actually, your kids may not be just fine, because the cuts are much more than one music teacher. More than 25 teacher are being cut. What if your child was interested in world languages? What would the cuts in those areas mean to you? To be honest, I understand the view of parents and others who have not had children go through the school system yet (or recently) As a parent, I did not understand the potential impacts, good or bad, to various decisions until after I could see the effects.  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #46)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

Please note that these students just learned of the ripple effect that a reduction in music was going to have on their program. there was no indication throughout the budget process that concert band at Masuk might loose their teacher. Seven years ago, the BOE was forced to reduce the band techer's position from full time to part time and it resulted in the departure of Mr. Tom Miner who went on to build a very successful program at another HS. All of the music programs in Monroe have been reduced over time. Remember when we had 5 student marching bands? Then 3, now 1...  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #45)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

Please don't confuse concert band with marching band. They are two different programs, even if they have the same person as director. The Masuk marching band does already do fundraising and the parents organization already contributes funds to both the marching band and concert band programs. Concert band is a regular HS class and like all other classes is funded as part of the operating budget of the school system  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #44)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

While I support the efforts of the students, it is also important to keep some facts straight. 1)The .6 Music instructor is district-wide, not just Masuk. This is a correction to the handout from the meeting and was pointed out during the meeting by Dr. Palmer. 2)According to the handout, .9 Music was cut from the Middle School & High School programs, so it is not clear how restoring .6 actually fixes the problem, which is based on tenure. 3) The teachers that have been layed off are certified teachers, not custodians, etc. 4) Custodians are not teachers. These are seperate people in separate jobs. The list of cuts published last night were teachers, more than 25 of them. It is easy to get confused, but the reality is that the BOE is cuting real, full time, teaching staff.  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #43)

Connecticut Post

Masuk sit-in today to protest teacher layoff

I was there last night and the board did see and hear the students. They even discussed how some additional funding for music might be put back into the budget. However,I'm not sure that there will be the funds. Rather than looking to the BOE, maybe it is time to look to the teacher's union. They have been asked to give back some or all of their contractual increases. If they would say yes, just to this year, Mr. Barkon and most if not all the teachers would have jobs in the fall.  (Jun 2, 2009 | post #42)

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