Today, Mayor Esposito joined Danbury Superintendent Kevin Walston and State Representative Rachel Chaleski at the Legislative Office Building for a Press Conference in support of H.B. 5003, an Act Concerning Education Funding in Connecticut.
The Mayor then submitted the following testimony:
“Thank you for the opportunity to testify in strong support of H.B. 5003, An Act Concerning Education Funding in Connecticut. My name is Dean Esposito and I have the honor and privilege of serving as Mayor for the great city of Danbury.
Danbury has suffered from chronic underfunding at the state level for years. Our public schools have been shortchanged by millions of dollars while the needs of our students have continued to grow. Year after year, Danbury Public Schools has one of the largest student population increases in the state and because of the lack of state funding to catch up, our public school system has suffered tremendously.
Our students, families, and community feel the impact of this lack of funding each and every day. That’s why I’m testifying in support of H.B. 5003 because it would finally bring full, equitable education funding to Danbury and communities across the state.
With over 70% of Danbury students considered “high-need,” a percentage that continues to grow annually, our district desperately needs the financial resources to support all of our students. Passing H.B. 5003 and fully funding the ECS formula would help Danbury recruit and retain high-quality teachers, hire more paraprofessionals and classroom-support staff, and meet the learning needs of the students in our community.
We owe students an education that can set them up for success far beyond the scope of the classroom. We owe our communities a well-funded public-school system that is not overly reliant on property taxes. And we owe taxpayers a transparent and fair funding system that treats all students, schools, and towns equitably.
H.B. 5003 does every one of these things and much more. By passing H.B. 5003, you are helping communities across Connecticut, investing in our workforce and economy, and giving every student a fair chance to reach their full potential.
Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to testify in strong support of this bill, and I urge Committee members to pass H.B. 5003.”