March 1, 2019

Senator Haskell Testifies Against Forced Regionalization

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) testified to the Education Committee in public hearing, speaking out against testimony that would force school districts to regionalize. On Friday, the Education Committee heard testimony from dozens of Haskell’s constituents who shared their concerns about the pending legislation.

Sen. Haskell testified with Dr. Christine Carver, superintendent of Bethel Public Schools, and ceded his speaking time to her. Dr. Carver spoke on behalf of Bethel’s community, saying that schools in western Connecticut are already working together to combine services, such as regionalizing federal grants, to benefit the community at large. “I would like to emphasize that please, whatever we do, we need to remember what’s best for children,” said Dr. Carver.

“I stand in opposition to Senate Bill No. 738, which would force many municipalities to regionalize with neighboring districts,” Sen. Haskell wrote in submitted testimony. “There is certainly inefficiency and inequality in our system of public education. However, I do not believe that this is the correct path forward to address those problems. This last month, I’ve heard from thousands of constituents who are concerned about school regionalization. That’s because I have the honor of representing some of the best school districts in the state. Let’s bring every district up to that level rather than creating larger bureaucracies.”

“Taxpayers in the 26th District cannot afford to subsidize towns that operate efficiently and spend on back-office administration,” Sen. Haskell said in submitted testimony. “If small districts want to maintain local autonomy, I support their freedom to do so. Connecticut taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize them.”

Caption: State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) and Dr. Christine Carver, superintendent of Bethel Public Schools, testify Friday in front of the Education Committee against forced school regionalization legislation.