On Thursday, April 21, the Waterbury Republican-American published a letter from community activist Shawn Gaston about the merits of House Bill 5283 and how it would support education in the Brass City.

As a lifelong resident of Waterbury, and a parent/grandmother who has attended Board of Education meetings, I know what lean budgets mean for kids – larger class sizes, higher rates of discipline and lost opportunities. This year, the Connecticut legislature is debating how to spend taxpayers’ money, including a $3 billion rainy day fund.

I’m advocating with Waterbury parents and the #EducationJusticeNow coalition on behalf of House Bill 5283, which would provide increased student-centered funding. An additional $25 million ($1,330 per student) would create better opportunities for kids in Waterbury and in towns across Connecticut.

Student needs and enrollment continue to shift drastically. Districts like Waterbury are facing unprecedented teacher shortages. State leaders need to tackle the issue of education funding, so our local leaders are no longer forced to manage by crisis.

People who agree we should invest in public education this year can take action by contacting their state legislators via educationjusticenow.org.

Shawn Gaston



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