How to write to the Education Committee members
Stopping forced school consolidation requires that every member of the Education Committee hear from you with a personal message. You can easily register your opposition by writing a letter or email (preferably email) that includes three points – your purpose, your reasons, your request.
IMPORTANT: In the subject line of your email, and at the top of your email or your letter, be sure to include the number(s) of the bill(s) you’re discussing.
Keep it brief and as personal as possible. If you need help, below are some examples and variations you can use to make each message unique. Remember to include your name and contact information.
- State your purpose up front – I oppose forced school regionalization
- Express your reasoning – It will not save money, it will harm school quality, etc.
- Close with an ask – Please oppose SB 738
Purpose (Vary your wording so each letter is unique)
- I am writing to express my strong opposition to SB 738, the bill to force regionalization of Connecticut public schools.
- As a parent of public school students, I oppose SB 738 that would require regionalization of our schools.
- I oppose Senator Looney’s bill to regionalize schools, SB 738.
Reasons (IMPORTANT: do not mention your property values, they don’t care)
- Include a personal story, if you have one that is relevant.
- It will not save money
- The cost of combining
resourses, retrofitting schools, and leveling up salaries, and sorting through legal obligations will offset any savings.
- A 2011 study by the National Education Policy Center found the savings from school consolidation are “vastly overestimated.”
- Larger school districts end up hiring more administrators, not fewer.
- UConn found in 2010 that there is no link between efficiency and academic performance.
- It will eliminate local control
- I moved to Wilton because of the schools. Stripping local control of schools will irreversibly change the character of our town.
- I know all my
childrens’ teachers, and my neighbors are on the Board of Education. That’s what makes Connecticut special.
- Our district attracts the best teachers and administrators who value small districts and personal connections as much as I do. This is true of many smaller school districts.
- It will harm school quality
- Any consideration of mandatory consolidation of schools must start with education quality and there is no proof that larger schools are better than smaller ones.
- Student and parent engagement declines when schools are expanded.
- School consolidation can mean longer bus rides for students which leads to lower achievement scores, more absenteeism, and health consequences for students.
Conclusion: The Ask (Don’t forget to ask for their support)
- Please oppose SB 738, the bill to regionalize Connecticut schools.
- I hope you will oppose SB 738 and any other effort to force consolidation of Connecticut public schools.
- Can I count on you to oppose SB 738?
4 Heffley, Dennis, and Can Bekaroglu. “Getting More From Less, Measuring Efficiency in Connecticut High School Districts.” The Connecticut Economy, Winter (2010).
6 Zimmer, Timothy, Larry DeBoer, and Marilyn Hirth. “Examining economies of scale in school consolidation: Assessment of Indiana school districts.” Journal of Education Finance 35.2 (2009): 103-127.
7 Abalde, Macarena Ares. “School size policies: A literature review.” OECD Education Working Papers 106 (2014): 0_1.
8 Voulgaris, Carole Turley, Michael J. Smart, and Brian D. Taylor. “Tired of Commuting? Relationships among Journeys to School, Sleep, and Exercise among American Teenagers.” Journal of Planning Education and Research (2017): 0739456X17725148.