To the Editor:
If you have children in Fairfield Public Schools and aren’t already planning to vote for Katie Flynn and David Krasnoff in November, then it’s important to understand the last 5 years of Fairfield’s history.
In 2018, the Board of Education realized that solving racial imbalance and overcrowding in our schools required additions to both Holland Hill and Mill Hill so that each could accommodate at least 504-students. It’s right there in the PowerPoint slides: “New Construction at both Holland Hill (504) and Mill Hill (504) gets McKinley under 20% of district average for racial imbalance and addresses overcrowding” at page 9.
After more than a decade of racial imbalance, the Boards of Finance and Selectman pretended to know better, and in an effort to save Fairfield taxpayer $1 million, they ignored the advice of the Superintendent, vetoed the Board of Ed’s unanimous decision, and refused to approve the 504-seat renovation at Mill Hill.
Sad fact: after Mill Hill’s renovations were complete and its portables were removed the school’s capacity dropped; today it’s over-utilized and lacks the privileges afforded to other elementary schools. How short-sighted for the Mill Hill community and our District!
The morning after the Board of Finance voted, Katie Flynn — North Stratfield mom and long-time Fairfield resident — stepped up her advocacy for our school district and town. She leaned in, beyond the PTA work at North Stratfield putting her on a path to a greater calling: community leadership, COVID reopening committee, 2022 PTAC President, fierce advocacy against the disruptive redistricting scenarios this past summer, and candidacy for the Board of Education this November.
Fast forward four years to last fall, when Fairfield’s politicians (on both sides of the aisle) suggested we should studying closing Dwight Elementary school and that the corresponding redistricting could be used to solve racial imbalance. That is, four years after recognizing more classroom space was the only solution, and after COVID had caused Fairfield’s population to grow, our leaders began suggesting we could close a school.
That’s when David Krasnoff –Dwight dad and long-time Fairfield resident — unapologetically entered the conversation to Save One School, in order to Save All Schools. Elementary school parents all over town bought the t-shirt and displayed the lawn sign. News organizations interviewed David on the Town Green. He saw then, what we all now understand: there is not capacity within our schools to close a building. In fact, weeks ago we learned that our current buildings are too small to accommodate any of the proposed redistricting scenarios. How sad for the families that felt the threats of redistricting, when none of the proposed scenarios could fit anyway! See pages 44-55.
As the redistricting conversation turned to chaos, a lot of us have had the chance to learn more about Katie Flynn and David Krasnoff through their consistent presence at BoE meetings and public comment sessions. They are the leaders that organized parents to save Dwight, and as a result, save all our schools from overcrowding, and our Town from the fiscal mistake of closing a school, only to later learn we need the space.
They’ve engaged parents on the complexity of issues facing our district, and have moved the debate through their advocacy. They recognize that the Board of Education should have a steady long-term facilities plan for the district; our community should not again be exposed to the stress of redistricting scenarios that won’t work anyway; redistricting is something that needs to be done with families, not by a consultant; the quality of our schools contributes to the value of our homes and why families choose Fairfield; and that the only effective advocacy is that which brings all Fairfielders together.
They are against satelliting your neighborhood, and believe all Fairfield students deserve the same privilege of attending their neighborhood school. They’re a team that’s dedicated to the students of our district, and that’s why they both have my full support in November. I thank them for their dedication to our Town, our children, and for the thoughtfulness they bring to the challenges we face.
If you’re wondering who to vote for this November, please reach out to them. I know you’ll meet non-partisan, thoughtful advocates for our students. After you do, please join me in voting for both Katie Flynn and David Krasnoff this November.