Many constituents have communicated concerns over legislative proposals to force smaller school districts to regionalize into much larger ones. On Friday, March 1st at 1:00 in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, the Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on this topic. The legislative proposals being heard are:
Senate Bill 457 AN ACT CONCERNING THE SIZE OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Requires any school district with a student population of fewer than two thousand students to join a new or an existing regional school district until that district equals two thousand or more.
Senate Bill 738 AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Requires towns to join state-created regional school districts similar in size to the state’s Probate Districts.
Governor’s Bill SB 874 AN ACT CONCERNING EDUCATION INITIATIVES AND SERVICES IN CONNECTICUT
Creates a state Commission on Shared School Services for the purpose of developing a statewide plan for the redistricting or consolidation of school services and school districts.
The concept of state-forced regionalization is supported by the Senate President, Martin Looney, and the Senate Majority Leader, Bob Duff. Governor Lamont supports forming a commission that would create a statewide plan for forced regionalization and penalize school districts that don’t participate. In addition to Old Saybrook and Westbrook, these bills would also impact Lyme and Old Lyme despite the fact that they are already regionalized, since these bills call for districts larger than Region 18.
I am opposed to these bills because, if passed, they would negatively affect the quality of education in Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Forced regionalization could also harm our property values and quality of life. I believe decisions involving regionalization of education and school services should be made locally and not by bureaucrats and politicians in Hartford.
Whether you support these ideas or not, I would encourage you to make your voice heard.
Potential map for school districts under SB 738
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Do you want to express your thoughts about these two bills?
You can have your voice heard by submitting written testimony to the committee or you can testify in person.
You can submit written testimony by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to reference the bill numbers you are submitting testimony for/against and copy me on the email at: Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov.
Electronic testimony needs to be submitted no later than 3:30 PM on Thursday, Feb. 28th.
Here is how you can testify in person:
This is anticipated to be a long hearing, so plan accordingly if you plan on attending.
If you have any questions about this or if you would like to speak with me about a concern regarding state government, please email me at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.
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