Posted on February 6, 2019 by admin
Connecticut Democrats have proposed multiple bills to force towns to regionalize school districts.
One bill would force any school district with less than 2,000 students to regionalize (impacting an estimated 84 towns). Another bill would force any town with a population of less than 40,000 to consolidate with other towns to form new school districts matching the state probate court districts shown below (impacting an estimated 144 towns).
While encouraging towns to share services is a laudable goal, forcing towns and cities to regionalize their school districts without considering their unique needs creates a whole host of problems:
Less time in the classroom and more time on the bus, especially in rural areas where proposed districts would be very large geographically.
Wasted taxpayer investments in new and newly renovated schools. If your town just invested in a new school renovation, it may now be all for nothing if the school no longer fits the needs of a regional school district.
Potential new costs to build new schools to meet regional needs.
Dramatic increases in busing expenses for towns and cities. While the state used to pay for busing costs, towns and cities are now solely responsible for those costs.
Raises concerns about how to preserve quality of education.
Loss of teaching positions. If towns are forced to consolidate, this could impact number of teachers and classrooms.
Loss of local control over school decision making. Forcing regionalization leaves little room for towns, cities and local residents to have a say in what happens. Want to speak out about this proposal? I will let you know once a public hearing is scheduled so you can submit testimony or testify in person at the State Capitol.
To talk to the lawmakers who proposed these bills, contact Senate Democrats at 800-842-1420 and House Democrats at 800- 842-8267.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns relating to state government at email@example.com or at (800) 842-1423.
Posted on February 4, 2019 by admin
On Friday, February 1, State Representative John Piscopo (R-76) attended Boy Scouts Day at the Capitol in Hartford.
Scouts from all five of the Boy Scout councils visited the Capitol for a tour at 1 p.m. followed by an inaugural ceremony at 3:15 p.m. followed by a 2019 Report to the State and Meet and Greet.
Nearly150 Scouts, their leaders, parents, along with state and local officials from all over Connecticut were in attendance to celebrate girls becoming members of the new Boy Scouts program.
Boy Scout Day at the Capitol celebrated the new Co-Educational Scouting program in Connecticut that welcomed its first girls into the Boy Scouts program. The girls at this unique Court of Honor Ceremony also received their Scout badge.
Posted on January 31, 2019 by admin
State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) and State Representative John Piscopo (R-76) visited Thomaston High School (THS) this morning to speak with local students about state government.
All Seniors and Juniors from THS, along with one Freshman class, joined the legislators to start the school day discussing the legislative process, current issues being debated at the Capitol, and the roles that Sen. Martin and Rep. Piscopo perform in their respective Houses of the Legislature.
“I always enjoy getting involved in teaching students in my district about how state government works and why it matters to them, even though most of them can’t vote,” said Sen. Martin. “It’s important for young people to know what’s going on and to get involved. There’s plenty for them to do before they turn 18 and I was glad to spend some time with them today to talk about issues they care about.”
Some of the specific issues they discussed included electronic tolling, legalization of recreational marijuana, legalizing sports betting, and a proposed tax on texting.
“It’s always a highlight for me when I am able to engage with students and teachers in our community in an informal, straightforward manner” said Rep. Piscopo. “I was very impressed by the intellect these students showed as we talked about issues of importance to them, as well as some topics pertaining to state government. These types of interactions are critical for young people as it helps them to understand their role as constituents, and that they too have a voice.”
Senator Martin and Rep. Piscopo extend a special thank you to Principal Perrucci and Mrs. Terri Franzi for organizing the discussion and providing time for students to learn something new.
State Senator Henri Martin represents Connecticut’s 31st district including the towns of Bristol, Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston and Harwinton. State Representative John Piscopo represents Connecticut’s 76th house district including the towns of Burlington, Harwinton, Thomaston and parts of Litchfield.