Letter: Stop regionalization

To the Editor:
Regionalization will lead to the degradation of Connecticut’s integrity. These bills are being touted by politicians as being in the interest of taxpayers by lowering costs through the consolidation of resources in existing school districts; 150 school districts consolidated to 54 regional districts!
The public hearing in Hartford on March 1 made it clear that these bills are going to be pushed through unless the public’s voices are heard. This is an exercise in forced social engineering. The following is emblematic from Hartford politicians capable of pushing this legislation through.
Susan Bigelow, a journalist for state news organizations, wrote on March 5, “Connecticut has too many school districts… Town-based school districts drive wealth inequality… they embody institutionalized and systemic racism. They enforce de facto segregation, which is the toxic legacy of redlining and exclusionary zoning, and we will never be able to move forward until that changes.”
The Education Committee chair, Sen. McCrory, stated “break up these silos” referring to districts with low minority population.
The impact of regionalization? Home values/sales decline, local taxes increased, state funding to “wealthier towns” declines, special property tax paid to the state, schools closed as students fill quotas, special needs students centralized, pensions paid by towns, teachers’ salaries adjusted for equality, less spent per pupil, shared departments, one superintendent and administrative staff for region, sports teams regionalized, school community will no longer belong to Ridgefield, extracurricular activities impractical.
The Education Committee will get their way unless stopped by citizen effort. This is a bipartisan issue. The CT Board of Education has voted in favor along party lines, unless stopped, legislature will follow!
Please join Hands Off Our Schools on Facebook to be more informed and to be a part of the voice being directed to Connecticut’s politicians.
Kevin and Susan O’Connor
Jefferson Drive, March 6