Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Britain Community Gardens Multi-Cultural Fundraiser Dinner

The New Britain Community Gardens Multi-Cultural Fundraiser Dinner is coming up. The event will be at the Polish American Foundation at 27 Grove Hill at 6pm on Friday, April 26. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. children ages 4-under are free. 

There will be delicious ethnic foods from various parts of the world, Mexican dancers, young guitar players, awesome silent auction prizes, and more.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Mayor Tim O’Brien Proposes $22.6 Million Investment in City Schools

Statement from Mayor Tim O’Brien:
When it comes to education in our city, we need to do more than just maintain the status quo. The need in our city for quality education - both the moral need and the economic one - is just too great. We must set our community on a course toward the investment that is needed to provide a quality education in our city schools.
The needs are great. In New Britain, the total number of people ages twenty-five and older with no high school diploma is 11,253. That is 15.4% of our city - almost one in six - who are without even the basic attainment of a high school diploma.
Education leaders have faced tough decisions throughout the City’s fifteen schools - choices between maintaining personnel or essential supplies such as text books. Investments in our schools infrastructure have been largely ignored in an effort to keep teachers in the classroom and preserve basic programs.
Prior to the current administration, flat-funding of the $118 million education budget several years in a row, forced cuts to dozens of teachers, aids, maintenance workers and guards in the schools – all while test scores plummeted. This announcement represents a significant change in course.
Investing in our children is investing in our future. Quality education is the path to a strong economy and vibrant neighborhoods. For future workers, it means having skills to do jobs that pay enough to lift families into the middle class. For our City, it means having a workforce that makes our community an attractive place to locate or expand a business and create jobs. For our property tax base and housing stock, it means the difference between having a community where families from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds wish to invest in, and raise their children in, versus a community where basic services and needs are not obtainable.
Years of flat funding at the local level have only exacerbated our challenges. That is why, last year with the support of the Common Council, I increased the city’s funding to the Board of Education’s budget by $500,000 - reversing a multi-year trend of flat funding.
This year I am proposing education funding of $141,200,000 - $22,639,443 higher than the current budget - and $2,512,660 higher than the Board of Education request.
The increase will come from both the General Fund budget and capital investments through bonding. We can’t afford not to make this investment – few investments pay off with the high rate of return for our community than investing in our children – the future of our city.
While we collectively have recognized that additional investments in education have been necessary, experiences of children outside of the schools are as important as in. That’s why I have been prioritizing community initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for our young people.
Additionally, I reiterate my promise to present a budget that does not raise property taxes.