Writer: The Ansonia School Board Is Not The Bad Guy

Round and round we go!

When do the citizens of Ansonia get straight talk from the people running our town?

When do ALL the facts get presented instead of glowing political rhetoric?

In several recent letters written by city Aldermen, accolades of funding support of education by this administration were cited. Although the numbers and funding referenced are accurate, it’s the MISSING information that changes the perspective of their assertions.

Where to start?

Special Education: If a child with special needs comes to us and we don’t have the specialized staff to educate them, then we must find a district who can. We are obligated to ensure the tuition for this child no matter the cost, however, we are only responsible for the first $63,085 of out of district tuition per student, the State picks up any balance.

Some tuitions can exceed $100,000. Each year this BOE assesses every SpEd student’s tuition requirements then petitions the State for any excess tuition costs, in turn, the State sends us our excess cost funding.

The BOE, however, cannot holds its own reserve funds so the City receives this State funding, on our behalf, and deposits it into the City’s General Fund. Over the last 4 years the BOE has petitioned the State for $4,025,551! Now, take another look at that previous chart presented by one of our Aldermen with the “rest” of the information added.

If you do the arithmetic, yes, the last four years since 2013, the City’s spending for education has increase by $4,260,484, but the dirty little secret is that the City has also received $4,025,551 from the State for excess tuition costs on our behalf.

So, if you subtract the difference from what the City has spent against what it has received the net impact of our BOE budget increases on the citizens of Ansonia over the past four years has ONLY been $234,933.

The City, essentially, has funded us with our own State funds. So, who’s being disingenuous with their figures and accolades?

This Alderman boasted the City’s additional funding for our new portable classrooms but neglected to mention, thanks to our State Rep, 100 percent of all costs incurred or related to this project are reimbursable by the State!

City funding for sidewalk repair at the High School was touted! However, the BOE owns NO property. The City owns and is responsible for all municipal properties.

It is their discretion where infrastructure money is spent. If they choose not to repair sidewalks that our students use, that’s completely up to them. Are they patting themselves on the back for their own responsibilities?

The BOE is not the bad guy!

We do our best with the funding we get and our grant writer is constantly searching for more.

Almost 65 percent of our funding comes from grants and State aid. We are all residents of this town and are very well aware of the financial stability of Ansonia.

We cut, we slash, we do what’s necessary to educate our kids and we are always mindful of how our budget effects the tax burden of our City.

When are you going to start looking past politics of the next upcoming election? Why not try putting Ansonia First?

Vinnie Scarlata
Republican Member, Ansonia BOE


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