Heads Clash at RTM Finance Meeting
May 1, 2009 • 1,942 views
Filed under News
Alex Nitkin ’10
The RTM finance committee met in town hall on Tuesday, April 28 to discuss budget matters with regards to Westport Public Schools. During the meeting, committee chair Michael Rea proposed a motion to cut an extra million dollars out of the Board of Education‘s current projected budget for the 2009-2010 school year, bringing the total value of the cuts to $2.4 million.
Students, teachers, parents and other Westport residents criticized and heavily debated the resolution until ultimately, the motion failed within the committee by a vote of 3-3-2. All members of the Board of Education were in attendance, as well as J.J. Mathewson ’12, Susan Greenberg ’11 and Mikey McGovern ’09, who all spoke out against the extent of the cuts.
“My motion is to cut a million dollars from the operating budget of the Board of Education. I think we can weather this. I think we need to weather this.”
-Michael Rea, Chair of the RTM Finance Committe
“We have done the right thing. What we haven’t done is piss people off—we haven’t cut any salaries…I will do everything in my power to make sure that a $2.4 million cut does not pass. If this is your way of dinging Elliott [Landon] because he pissed you off, it’s the wrong thing to do. This is capricious.”
-Don O’Day, Chair of the Board of Education
“These cuts are going to hurt students K through 12. And it’s not about the fancy equipment we have; it’s about the quality of our teachers and programs.”
-Susan Greenberg ’11
“I like to pride myself on the fact that when these things happen, I don’t react like the sky is falling. And frankly, I’ve seen a lot of people acting like Chicken Little. Rumors are going on around the schools because we’re trying to keep a high value learning system while trying to manage the budget.”
-Elliott Landon, superintendent of Westport Public Schools