Government Letters to the Editor Reader Contributed Schools

Letter: Smith STEM Budget Cuts Strike at the Heart of the Students There

Smith STEM Students at the Board of Education budget hearing on March 29, 2023. Photo submitted by Heather Sansone

We-Ha.com welcomes Letters to the Editor from the public, including endorsements. Letters submitted by political candidates will be considered for publication up to 14 days prior to an election and most will be published within 48 hours of receipt. Letters that contain personal attacks or include profanity of any type will not be published. Rebuttals to letters should be submitted as a separate document, and commenting on letters will no longer be permitted. Please provide your full name and town, as well as your phone number at the end of the letter. Phone numbers will not be published but are required in case verification is needed. Please submit letters to [email protected].

Dear We-Ha Editor,

The Board of Education proposes the elimination of the dedicated STEM Curriculum Special at Smith in favor of combining the role with the Science Lab Instructor. On Wednesday evening this week concerned parents and students showed up at the BOE Public Hearing to express urgent concern to this proposal and what was most remarkable were the students that were brave enough to get up in front of a room of adults and speak up on behalf of their education.

Smith STEM is a high needs neighborhood and despite more than half of the student population requiring assistance, has outperformed every other school in science and math testing and is in the top 5 among the entire state.

At the heart of this lies the question of how in the world will the BOE be able to guarantee this level of excellence particularly in science and technology when they are reducing hours spent developing cutting edge curriculum to practically nothing? How does the BOE intend to maintain educational equity in a high needs district when the quality may be no greater than the wealthier neighborhood schools? The magnet effect is lost and that will have a negative impact on those that remain.

We have been told that Charter Oak has less specialists as a justification of the cuts at Smith, so I ask why are we not bringing Charter Oak up instead of knocking Smith down? We have a high tax burden in this town and the Town Council plans to raise the rates even more this year, so where is this money going? We are not asking for 10 people, we are asking to keep one, how can the budget be such that it is not possible?

Should these cuts go forward, I will be holding them accountable to guarantee that my child’s education at a school with the designation of STEM is not just ok or decent, but continues to be a leader in our community and our state. I highly doubt we can remain competitive without investment rather than removal.

I am proud to be a part of this amazing school and commend the bravery of children as young as first grade advocating for themselves in a room full of adults. I truly hope the BOE will reconsider this proposal.

Kind Regards,
Heather Sansone
West Hartford

Smith STEM Students at the Board of Education budget hearing on March 29, 2023. Photo submitted by Heather Sansone

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Translate »