Letter: Stop AgSTEM ‘boondoggle’
To the editor:
What happens when surrounding towns, with declining populations, who are earmarked to send their students to our AgSTEM program say, "Let's start our own AgSTEM program and get all that money from the state to save our school?"
Region 12 will be left with a white elephant the taxpayers will be stuck supporting and the school administrators and their consultants, who are telling you how great it is and that it's the only option, will be long retired.
When was the last time your only option (to quote the Region 12 superintendent) was also a great option? Probably never.
This program locks us in for 25 years, unless we reimburse the state, no matter what happens to the enrollment or the actual educational needs of our communities, let alone every other community from Danbury to here.
The kind of sales pitch we have been given by the school superintendent and the board, is unholy. Some of it laughable; 200 new families will be buying gas and sandwiches in our towns and invigorate the economy. Families will come here for sports activities and see how great the area is and buy new homes. The program will make a profit and reduce our taxes. Are they kidding?
They tell us all how these students will receive an AgSTEM education that will get them jobs in the agriculture business. What agriculture business and where? The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a small increase in agriculture jobs over the next 20 years and they are not in Connecticut.
The superintendent said they would be selecting students for this elite program in the eighth grade. How many eight-graders know what they want to do for a career?
A riding ring and stables. Please.
And lastly, the STEM part, science, technology, engineering and math. Why haven't they been teaching these subjects? When did they think the 21st Century began? What have they been teaching? The district touts its fine test scores compared to other towns in the state. If that's the case, what's the need for this big and expensive change.
Vote "no" and stop this boondoggle.