On June 30, the board of education and the town council in Enfield, Conn., convened to hear the results of a citizen cost-cutting committee. Among its other recommendations, the 17 residents recommended replacing some public school teachers with low-cost college interns, restricting the use of school vehicles, and increasing employee contributions to benefit plans.
These may seem modest steps toward fiscal responsibility — but they are emblematic of a significant change in this very blue state: growing disenchantment with the price of government, especially of public education.
Over the past two and a half decades, the student population in Connecticut has increased only 10%. Yet the cost of schooling more than doubled — to $8.8 billion in 2006, up from $3.4 billion in 1981. Seventeen years ago, the state enacted an income tax with promises to cut other taxes. Instead, real-estate assessments soared, creating a massive income transfer from the private to the public sector, fueled in part by a state cost-sharing formula that uses taxes on residents in the suburbs to subsidize urban schools. Helping to soak up all that money were binding arbitration laws, skewed to give teacher unions an advantage in collective bargaining negotiations.
Redding is a fabulous place. And Connecticut is a great state. Our goal is to help make Redding even better!
Since about three-quarters of our budget supports our schools, we explored ways to get a bigger bang for the education buck while simultaneously improving the quality of education. So we developed The School Choice Plan. Not only does it save money for all taxpayers, it also empowers parents with choice and improves education. The Plan is summarized in our School Choice Plan brochure as is the School Grants Calculator we developed. Take a look at the brochure.