Now that I have your attention… I have something of actual importance to tell you. Recently the Oxford BoE decided to not include funding for all day kindergarten (ADK).
How did we get here? Let’s do a quick recap.
As far as I can tell, an Oxford resident inquired about the town’s plan for ADK almost a year ago. Prior to this, I’d say that the BoE had no plan! I’m not even sure that some of the BoE members knew that there was a massive movement within the state and the country to implement ADK.
ADK then became an election issue with both sides stating that they did not want to ‘politicize’ our children.
During election season, the BoE decided to form an ad-hoc committee to study ADK, some 6 months after the issue was initially raised.
Certain members of the Board publically stated that they were neither for nor against a full day program but would study the issue and make their decision accordingly.
Candidates and representatives for both Reps and Dems weighed in with their thoughts on ADK and now here we are.
The ad-hoc committee has found value in a ADK program, the Superintendent is in favor, the First Selectman has said he would support it (sounds like just lip service though), and over 80% of the towns in Connecticut have also found value in ADK. So what does the Oxford BoE do? They vote against it claiming that the town can’t afford it and they do not want to even let the town have a say in the matter. Why not ask the town what we can or can’t afford? The costs for implementation are an additional $270,000 which doesn’t sound too expensive to me especially when one considers that Oxford recently installed a $3MM sports complex.
Here is a letter currently in circulation around town from someone trying to spread some misinformation. They claim to not want to politicize the ADK issue but it is pretty interesting that they single out two members of the Democratic party and one Democratic candidate from the last election.
[Hey Fellow taxpayer.
On 02-18-2014, the BOE succeeded in removing the funding for a full day kindergarten program for the 2014-2015 school budget. The recurring cost of such a program would be at least $533,000 in additional cost, over the cost of ½ day Kindergarten now in place. Every year that the FDK program would be in effect, as submitted on the Superintendent's recommended budget. We should applaud such fiscal restraint from the BOE and support their decision.
The BOE appointed an Ad Hock committee to study the implantation of a Full Day Kindergarten, studying the pros and cons of implementing such a program and what the impact to the school system would be.
After giving due diligence to the Idea the BOE felt that it was not the right time to enter into this non-mandated program. Taking the common core curriculum into consideration when rendering their decision, they found that FDK would was not a viable program at this time.
That did not sit well with the 2Demacratic board members Amy Cote and Stephen Brown, along with the Democratic candidate John Mele who lost in the last election. I do not wish this to become a political issue; however Mr. Brown made it a campaign issue by demanding we offer FDK just before last year’s election and the Ad Hock committee was formed at that time.
The Ad Hock committee sent out a survey to ONLY parents with preschoolers and you can guess what the results were.
On Tuesday 02-25-2014, the BOE will attempt to pass and submit a financially sound, conservative budget it to the BOF for their consideration. A budget without funding for a FDK program included in their final draft.
Row B supporters led by Democrat BOE members Steve Brown and Amy Cote, who as I understand it will attempt to stack this upcoming meeting with angry pre-school parents in an attempt to intimidate the BOE into restoring funds for a full day kindergarten program. They are attempted to do the same thing to our First selectman yesterday and at last night’s BOS meeting.
While a full day K program might be the proper path in the long run due to the controversial Common Core State Standards that the Dems in Hartford have saddled us with, right now the Town cannot afford an explosion in the BOE budget. It's just too expensive.
I urge you all to please show your support, If you can please attend this very important BOE meeting on this upcoming Tuesday night 7 pm 02-25-2014 at OHS in the media center on the third floor to show support for the fiscally sound measures the BOE has taken to control their budget, properly educate our kids and keep our taxes low. They need our help and deserve our support.]
ADK is a very important issue, especially in light of the
pending implementation of the Common Core standards. Do not let the politicians from either side
sway your opinion! Your kids deserve the
best education possible!