By RANDY KLEIN
When my wife Evonne and I moved to Darien almost 30 years ago, we chose our town because it was a vibrant community with excellent schools for our growing family. To this day the performance of our schools remains one of Darien’s most valuable assets and continues to attract new families.
Since launching my campaign for state representative, I have talked with many parents whose top priority is that their children continue to receive an excellent education.
Parents understand that for our schools to provide the education we have come to expect we cannot be caught off guard again, as we were last spring, by a proposed one million dollar cut in state funding at the 11th hour.
They recognize the need for standards of performance for both students and educators, and that all must be held accountable for meeting these standards. They know that political grandstanding and finger pointing is not the answer. We can all agree our children deserve better than that.
— Randy Klein is the Democratic nominee challenging incumbent Terrie Wood for state House of Representatives in the 141st District, covering all of Darien and Rowayton.
The long-awaited Superior Court decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding Inc. v. Rell mandates widespread reform of Connecticut’s education system, from how the state allocates funding and districts evaluate teachers, to setting mandatory graduation standards and the overhaul of special education. It opens the door for important and long overdue discussions and legislative action. New territory will be charted.
This is a watershed moment, and Darien needs a state representative who will proactively protect our children’s futures.
As your state representative, I will embrace this challenge head-on. I will regularly hold public meetings with parents, the Board of Education, school administrators, elected officials and all residents of our town so that as a community we can identify the programs, projects and initiatives that require financial resources from the state to achieve our educational goals.
Prior to the start of the legislative session, I will engage decision makers at the state level to make sure they understand the importance of our requests, and the impact decisions made in Hartford will have in our classrooms.
I will advocate and work to represent my constituents and partner with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure what is necessary to sustain and support our excellent education programs here in Darien.
I will make sure Darien, Rowayton, and Norwalk have a seat at the table regarding changes to the formula used to allocate state funds to our schools.
The court imposed an aggressive timetable for action. The language the court used regarding special education programs raises my concern, and if elected I will make sure these programs receive the support and attention they deserve.
We have a significant challenge ahead of us, and Darien will need a state representative who is proactive, forward-thinking, collaborative and engaged. If elected, I will work to make sure that we receive the funding that our schools need.