WESTPORT, Conn – Westport residents have been attaching scissors to their mailboxes with red tape to send a message – don't cut our school budget.
"This year, when faced with a request from the Board of Finance to cut $1.7 million from next year's school budget, all of us heard from many parents who wanted to do something to express their views on these cuts beyond sending an email to the Board of Ed and Board of Finance. I personally heard from many who doubted their emails would make a difference," said Candace Banks, who is spearheading the initiative. "Mailboxes are ubiquitous....they are everywhere! And red duct tape + scissors make is a simple visible way to weigh in on these budget cuts, and the "restoration" effort."
The district has proposed severe cuts, including the elimination of freshman sports, early music education and staff layoffs.
A petition on Change.org to oppose the proposed $1.7 million budget cut had more than 1,300 signatures as of Monday afternoon. The petition asks the Board of Education to request $1.25 million to be restored to the Westport Education Budget for 2018 - and for the Board of Finance to approve this restoration request.
For more information on the Westport Mailbox project and how to get involved, check out its Facebook page or @WestportMailbox on Twitter.
"I have been involved in PTA for the past several years. All the PTA presidents regularly attend Board of Education meetings and Board of Finance meetings during budget season, and work hard to keep the families at our eight schools informed with respect to school funding," Banks said.
The next public meeting is with the Board of Finance is scheduled for Wed., April 5, 8 p.m. at Town Hall. The BOF will consider the BOE's restoration motion for $700k.