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Upset April 10, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Some very good points here. We are a tale of two cities. Until the redistricting we had a veryRead Moreunb alanced census in the schools which furthered the education gap of the lower socioeconomic and higher socioeconomic children of the town. I do not know if this redistricting has been successful or not yet. But it was a start. I think we need to look at some expenses the district has but does not need. Can anyone explain why we have the IB and AP programs? There is better use of this funding.
Conrad F. Heede March 30, 2014 at 10:17 AM
You make some good points and raise some good questions, such as why do we have to pay for outsideRead Mores tudies for seemingly basic ideas. However, in regards to the IB program, several constituents last Fall mentioned the problem is the program is too limited. There are not enough courses to choose from. For example there is only one biology course. As a result, students are forced to choose between limited outcomes or dropping out of the program to pursue other interests. Assuming the program is successful for the students upon completion, I would suggest either more flexibility or increasing course options to drive enrollment. The question that should be debated is does this program have an impact commiserate with its cost and what could improve it. If it does not work, then and only then should we end it. From what I have heard, it is a program worth continuing, but I would like to see an analysis before deciding.
Rosanne Kotowski March 31, 2014 at 09:56 PM
Thank you for reading my blog. I agree with you that the question that should be debated isRead More"d oes this program have an impact commiserate with its cost and what could improve it. If it does not work, then and only then should we end it." Providing impartial information will be difficult. It would be useful to compare with the AP Program, which I am a strong supporter of. One more thing, are you aware that IB classes are "open" to any student?
Conrad F. Heede April 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM
I believe they have to be a part of the program, but I will confirm. Thanks!
Rosanne Kotowski March 28, 2014 at 05:30 PM
Every year we have been forced to believe that when revenues decrease, taxes must increase insteadRead Moreo f decreasing spending. Given that logic, when revenues increase, as is the case this year then taxes must decrease? Right? The question is: why does the Town bureaucracy receive the revenue “windfall” instead of the taxpayers? The taxpayers should receive the revenue “windfall”. I encourage the Town Council to make the necessary changes to the 2015 budget to allow for taxes to decrease, as well as make reasonable reductions to the budget.
Rick McDonald March 29, 2014 at 07:30 AM
Did you really mean to submit this entire article in all caps?
augie42 March 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM
Let me correct some of the inaccuracies in this blog. There was not 3 years of no increases, justRead More2. Moreover, with CT minimum budget requirement, the budget NEVER goes down. The level budgets did not mean they did spent less than budgeted...look in the CAFR documents (spent $84 mil on a budget of $73 mil) on the town Web-site, so there is other money that the board can use. In those level years Kadri and the BOE's budget was propped up by $3 million in FED ARRA stimulus money that they foolishly spent on hiring PARA aides. Dr Ramos saw this last year and recommended those layoffs. Lets stop making Education about the people who administer it and make it about the children. Dr Graner put out that the majority of the increases are due to Health Care benefits. ($1.8 million) This should tell us that the employee contributions rates need to be increased. Groton's academic performance warrants more scrutiny BEFORE we spend more. With the Education budget ($75 million) being over 60% of the budget, it should be looked at closely. Scott Aument
Rosanne Kotowski March 11, 2014 at 07:36 PM
Agree with your comments and support your positions on ethics or lack of, term limits and a charter Read Morerevision, etc. We need you and people like you to run for office.
Rosanne Kotowski February 22, 2014 at 09:47 AM
This is an different and interesting perspective that should be considered. Hope the powers that be Read Moreare paying attention.
augie42 February 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM
People all around SE CT KNOW that when ask where the BEST schools are, Groton is NOT in the top 5.
Angelique Barnes February 23, 2014 at 12:05 PM
I am so fed up with people saying how a school system in place is the better than another schoolRead Moresys tem. Parents need to realize that what their child gets out of school is what a child and parent puts into it. I have lived in Groton now going on 8 years and have 2 children both in Groton public schools. Both of my boys are thriving and both honor students......One of my sons is also special needs, so I have very close relationship with my son and the school system.....So if you are not happy with the education your child is getting, be proactive and do something about it and stop complaining.
Deborah Johnson March 02, 2014 at 09:42 AM
I believe Monday's BOE meeting is on channel 19 today @ noon.
Rosanne Kotowski March 02, 2014 at 11:07 AM
B.R.E.E. - You and I are on the same page for most of your comments. I would like to point outRead Moresome residents had their home values DECREASED 35% and more, during the last revaluation. BUT taxes jumped again the next year. While at the same time other homeowners saw a 20% increase in taxes due to the revaluation. There seems to be no argument from anyone anymore, EXCEPT the protectors of the status quo, that consolidation of operations would benefit the taxpayers. Now the status quo politicians need to make some hard decisions. As for the pool. We at GATE believe we should have the government we need and only the government we need. A pool, however nice, is a want. So we will just have to agree to disagree there. As for trash collection - please let me keep my private hauler - which is cheaper and better than any government administered trash scenario. On my street my neighbors and I have a choice of several different trash haulers. We can choose the one best suited for our individual situation. Also the fact that there are several haulers competing for customers, has kept the price at $19/month. We also agree that the vacant school buildings should be sold in order for taxes to be paid on the properties. Again, the status quo politicians need to take action. We at GATE believe we should have the education for our children and the town operations we can afford. Thank you for responding. We meet at the GPL on Monday evenings at 7:30 and welcome you to join us.
Rosanne Kotowski March 02, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Deborah Johnson - Just 2 points - First, if you review the RTM Education Committee meeting and theRead MoreR TM Budget meeting - in both instances Denise Doolittle stated that the para-professional lay offs were due to a three year study that found little educational value for 187 aides. 30 were "cut" even though the BOE spent an additional $1million in salaries in 2014. The original expansion of the para-professionals to 187 was due to stimulus money. Some people have argued that was in fact a misuse of stimulus money. For the 2014 BOE budget the salaries went up $1Million and the benefits went up $1million. This is how the BOE is choosing to spend the taxpayers money. Second point - I value music education and encourage any young person I am in contact with to be involved in music. However, lessons for flute, trumpet, drums, etc. start in forth grade. Is it unreasonable to start strings in forth grade as well?
Brett Vondeck February 11, 2014 at 09:59 AM
As a taxpayer in Groton I agree with you 100%. BOE numbers show that it's true that studentRead Moreenrollm ent has declined by almost 20%. When taxes are raised people move out of town. This cycle of tax and spend needs to change.
Daniella Ruiz February 12, 2014 at 02:21 PM
when taxes are raised, the poorest people move out of town, and the wealthy come in and grab theRead Morelan d. this is an elitist dilemma, creating a gentrified, stratified and unhealthy society. knowledge may be power, but it also corrupts.
augie42 February 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM
I am all for a quality education of our children in Groton, which is NOT in jeopardy. I feel theRead Morefis cal viability of Groton is trending in the wrong direction. The tax base continues to lower, ($3 million less in up-coming FYE) and the mill rates continue rise, year after year. This has pushed businesses, residents and students OUT of Groton. Focus on WHAT WE CAN AFFORD to turn the trends of the continuous tax increases. As in last years budget, the Council and RTM limited the mill rate increase to 0.5 mills. My goal was zero, but it was a concerted effort by both bodies seeing what was forecasted for our financial climate. REMEMBER, the voters overwhelmingly defeated 2 expensive bond projects. They spoke LOUDLY saying limit spending to just what we need.