Letter: Aldermen praised for using relief funds to aid schools, parents

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

Welcome back to the new school year. Hopefully this year the school system can get back to basics and back to normal after years of upheaval from the effects of COVID. Our teachers, staff, and administrators are ready to go and we hope we have given them all the tools necessary to improve student achievement, provide a nurturing instructional environment, and support our kids in their emotional needs.

The federal government is also supporting our schools through American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. These dollars are provided to communities across the USA to use to support programs and initiatives that may have been impacted in the aftermath of COVID. The Shelton School System used funding like this to provide computers and Wi-Fi access to our school families in order to support distance learning over the last two years.

When communities and government programs work together much can be achieved. Many Shelton citizens have commented on the relatively drama free budget building process that occurred last year for the 22/23 school year. Although the Board of Education did not receive everything requested the City provided necessary funding that at least left programs and teaching positions wholly uncut.

There were still programs that were instituted, however, that remained in place that were designed to relieve the financial burden on the school system and shift that burden to our school families.

One of the programs that fit into this category was “Pay to Participate.” Thankfully during a Board of Alderman meeting last Thursday night — our Aldermen decided to put aside $250,000 of ARP funds. That resource will now be used to pay back parents who are financially supporting their student’s desire to participate in sports, band, club, or drama activities.

The Democratic members of the BOE would like to thank the BOA for providing this opportunity to our school system families. Although the details still have to be worked out this is a positive move in the right direction.

Providing a well-rounded educational program for a community’s students is the most important obligation a city government provides its citizenry. The undersigned thank you for your foresight and the understanding necessary to accomplish this task.

Kate Kutash, Diana Meyer, Patti Moonan, and Lorraine Rossner

Shelton Democratic Board of Education Members