To the Editor of the Litchfield County Times:
Next Tuesday, June 25, I will vote against the Region One budget for the third straight time.
My views on specific budget items have been well publicized. But I am voting against the budget again because it is the only way I can keep advocating for a change in leadership in our Central Office Administration.
I believe the Pingpank Report, released in late 2010, to be over 95% accurate. Jeffrey Pingpank has been a well-known, well-respected Connecticut education attorney for over twenty five years.
I feel the abuses outlined in that report continue to this day in the schools of Region One. Despite pleas to the contrary, that report has never been addressed in detail in public.
I have the highest regard for David Bayersdorfer, Lucille Paige, and Choo Singer. From my perspective, their statements are factual, and they should be recognized for their courage and honesty.
I am appalled that the Housatonic Valley Regional High School Faculty Association has not said a word about teacher reductions. I attribute this to a bond between the Association leaders and the Central Office leadership, forged during the Pingpank era.
The morale in the elementary schools of Region One is poor. It will not improve until our leadership changes. I realize the All Boards Committee and the majority of the Region One Board has worked hard , and truly believe they are doing the correct things. BUT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT BELIEVE THEY REALLY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR SCHOOLS. Students, former students, parents, teachers, retired teachers, substitute teachers, and residents have a better understanding of the school system than the Boards do.
Region One employees live in fear of retribution. They talk privately but are hesitant to speak out in public. They are also hesitant to come to public meetings.
Perhaps the Boards and the Administration feel that eventually the budget will pass. It is up to the voting public to ensure that doesn’t happen until major leadership changes are made.
Please vote on Tuesday, June 25, from 12-8 pm.