To the Editor:

There are many reasons why Region 12 citizens and taxpayers should take a hard look at the education budget presented by Superintendent Cosentino and our Board of Education.

First, it fails to make any acknowledgment of the almost certain charges for teacher pensions or for cuts in ECS funding.

While other nearby towns and their respective school districts are adding those increases in their budgets, we in Washington and Region 12 have chosen to simply ignore these realities.

In an effort to pass the budget with an almost-zero increase since the previous year, they have neglected to give us the cold, hard facts that will eventually be revealed in this spring’s legislative session. One way or another, our taxes will increase to fill the budget deficits in Hartford.

Most alarming are the financial maneuvers made to get to that zero-increase budget.

Once again, Burnham School has borne the brunt of this gambit. Due to declining enrollment, and after much research and deliberation, parents agreed to a K-2 grade combination taught by two teachers and various aides.

Problems arose this spring when Superintendent Cosentino allocated two more teachers to the remaining three grades and simply told their principal to “figure it out.”

Nice delegation of responsibility..

A reasonable plan has emerged that would actually save our region an estimated half-million dollars a year, balance class sizes and provide designated teachers for each grade.

This plan has been virtually stonewalled by our board of education. Just as with the Ag/STEM project, the administration’s plans will not be thwarted and there always seems to be a legal team at the ready to squash any constructive or opposing ideas.

I will be voting “no” until a realistic budget is presented that focuses on a quality education for all of Region 12 students.

Janet Buonaiuto

Washington, CT