We want to thank all the State Senate and House candidates for participating in the Education Debate last Thursday night. Highlights of the debate can be found on www.norwalknet.com. You can also watch the debate by going to the Links Page of this website and clicking on the Vimeo Link sponsored by the Norwalk Education Foundation.
While our city, state and country for that matter, face many challenges with the economy, we hope that the debate highlighted the need for a well- managed and high performing educational system. As one of the largest cities in the state, if elected, we hope that the candidates will consider the following:
- Education accounts for nearly two-thirds of Norwalk’s City Budget
- Everyone in the city contributes their tax dollars to the budget whether they have children in the school system or not
- Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in the country, and as a district, Norwalk has been on the NCLB list for many years
- Students who do not graduate with the necessary skills for either college or a trade, drive up our city and state unemployment rolls
- It becomes harder to attract businesses that need skilled labor to Norwalk or the Greater Norwalk Area
- Norwalk’s desirability as a place to live is greatly impacted by the effectiveness of its school system
We do not envy the tough choices that our politicians will have to make regarding how best to balance a state budget of uncontrolled spending versus investing in education for the next generation, so as positively fuel Connecticut’s future economy. Hopefully, they can find a thoughtful , collective, non-partisan, pragmatic, and strategic path when it comes to funding and leading legislative reform in Connecticut.
Two key educational reform and funding issues that will impact Norwalk include: Race to The Top federal funding, in order to drive the operational changes needed AND state legislative debates over Connecticut’s blatantly unfair and partisan ECS (Education Cost Sharing) formula.
The future vibrancy of our city requires businesses that want to invest in a City with an educated employment base and families who want to send their children to the local schools. We hope that our politicians keep that in mind when they get to Hartford.
Please check out the Reports Section of this website to view the Connecticut Commission Report on Education Achievement.
Thank you to everyone who participated Thursday Night and good luck to the candidates.