To the editor:
On Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium, the Board of Finance will hold its annual Public Hearing on the Board of Education’s 2014-2015 Budget for the Darien Public Schools.
On behalf of the Council of Darien School Parents, we encourage all parents and community members to attend and to make your voices heard in support of the budget.
The recommended budget for 2014-2015 represents a 5.9% increase over last year's budget. This increase takes into account the very real and necessary changes that are needed in our District -- changes that will benefit all students.
It provides for several unfunded state and federal mandates, including the adoption of the Common Core, Smarter Balanced testing, a new teacher evaluation system and SRBI.
It funds the reorganization of special education in order to address the mistakes made in the past, and improves our delivery of special education services going forward.
And it allows for technology advancement, as well as professional development, so that students are the direct beneficiaries of teachers’ increased training.
Importantly, this budget begins the process of creating a long-term strategic plan for our district, which will encompass enrollment and long-term facility planning.
We believe prudent planning, with benchmarked goals and defined outcomes, will raise the bar for how our District operates. This thoughtful and responsible approach will benefit not just school children but the community as a whole.
Much thought and time has gone into charting the course forward for our schools, and we thank the school administration and the Board of Education as they continue to work to manage and improve our schools within allocated resources.
As a parents and as community, please join us at the public hearing on March 11 to support the school budget and invest in our future.
Tara Ochman and Robin Nelson
Council of Darien School Parents