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“Fill the Concert Hall” Challenge

Dear PTO Presidents,

We respectfully request that you forward this letter to your entire PTO distribution list
and your respective building Principal.

The Board of Education (BOE) Operating Budget is now before the City Council and the
Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET). Two critical meetings are coming up:

Thursday, February 17, the Finance Committee of the Common Council will hold a
Public Hearing. The meeting will be held in the Concert Hall at City Hall at 7:00 pm.
THE PUBLIC CAN SPEAK. Following the Public Hearing, the Finance Committee will
vote on the cityʼs operating budget and the recommended cap.

Tuesday, February 22, the Common Council will set the City Budget Cap. THE
PUBLIC CAN SPEAK. The meeting will take place at 8:00 pm.

We have been challenged to “Fill the Concert Hall” with


Norwalk Public School parents, students and supporters

- The BOE has requested an Operating Budget of $156.7 million (4.25%).


- The City Finance Director has recommended a $153.3 million (2.4%) Operating
budget for the BOE to the Common Council Finance Committee.
- Even if the Unions were to contribute $1.8 million, that would still not restore the
Education department services to itʼs current level.
- Impact - the BOE Operating budget that has been submitted to the City has a
reduction of $3 million (Housemasters, Guidance Counselors, School to Career, 1st
grade Aides, Elementary Assistant Principals, Intervention Aides and 1st Grade Aides,
just to name a few). This most certainly will have a negative impact on our
children.

We need our City to make education a priority. Weʼve heard about shared sacrifice,
union givebacks, increased healthcare costs, but very little about the importance of
education. If we are to rebuild a “District in Need of Improvement”, we all need to work
together - City, BOE, NPS Administration, Unions and the community. The 11,000
public school children of Norwalk deserve that much.

Please attend the meetings and proudly wear your schoolʼs t-shirt in support of the
Children of Norwalk Public Schools. We will have students passing out signs for you to
hold up in support of Norwalk Public Schools at the meetings. Your attendance at both
meeting is critical.

Also, we have started a Facebook page to help keep parents fully informed in a timely
manner. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Norwalk-Public-Schools-20112012-Operating-
Budget-Crisis/132066560194470
Recommend this page to your friends and help us keep you informed.

In addition, we encourage you to send comments to your Common Council members at


commoncouncil3@norwalkct.org.

Lastly, parking may be difficult, so please consider car pooling with friends. And please,
keep your messages positive and show the Common Council how respectful we are of
the process, but that we are very serious advocates for our children and their schools.

I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming meetings.

Best regards,

Norwalk PTO Council


www.ptocouncil.org/