Monroe, Easton schools districts join in regionalization talks
MONROE — Monroe and Easton have joined in talks with nine other school districts about cutting costs by regionalizing resources.
With concerns about state funding mounting, representatives from Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Easton, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Easton and Monroe, and Regions 9, 12 and 15 met, recently to discuss bulk purchasing and regional transportation contracting.
“We’re always interested in finding ways to improve service to our students and to do so at a lower cost to the taxpayer,” said Thomas McMorran, the superintendent of schools for Easton, Redding and Region 9. “We’re individually all facing similar, costly changes in education financing, including insurance, transportation, special education and a whole host of other things, and if we can build local partnerships among districts, we should be able to provide better service to our kids.”
The initiative is especially important as Connecticut increases the number of unfunded mandates, McMorran said. Recently, the state cut funding for a required mentoring program for new teachers, ordered training for those working in special education and required that school districts provide more services for expelled students.
“We’re at a point in financing public schools where it’s more difficult for individual towns to go it alone,” McMorran said.