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5/29: Please Read Dr. Lucero’s Latest Message to the SPS Community

Please take a minute to read Superintendent Dr. Lucero’s weekly message to SPS staff & families. In it, she urges all of Stamford to complete the 2020 Census. An undercount of our community will hurt our schools and children for the next 10 years. Be counted!

SPS Staff and Families,

The budget has rightfully so dominated the conversation in our city this week, as the Board of Finance (BOF) met on Wednesday to vote on the City’s budget, including the Board of Education’s (BOE) portion. While we all wish for a time when we were hopeful that the BOF would pass the total requested budget, the unfortunate circumstances of the recent months in our city—and the world—have made that expectation a pipedream. The reality is that we all must work collaboratively to address the massive economic burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While we are grateful that the BOF thoughtfully spared us the entire $18 million we had feared, we remain cautiously optimistic as we await the final vote of the Board of Representatives (BOR). The BOR, which will vote on June 2, 2020, may choose to pass the 1.15% increase of our budget as presented by the BOF, or reduce our budget further to last year’s budget of $283 million, but cannot be less than that, due to the State of Connecticut Minimum Budget Requirements (MBR).

Once the BOR has voted, the BOE will begin the daunting task of reallocating the budget to determine which programs and services to fund, as well as where the district needs to cut. I am confident that we will come together to make the difficult decisions that will serve our students best in these difficult times.

Related to funding on a broader scale is the 2020 Census, which is currently underway. I encourage you all to participate in the Census, as an accurate count of our city’s population informs how state, local and federal lawmakers allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds. Federal funding is crucial and essential to the continued support of our schools.  We will only get our fair share if every household responds to the 2020 Census with accurate accounting of everyone in your household—babies, grandparents and college students. An undercount for Stamford will negatively impact our community for the next 10 years.

Filling out the Census is simple. It only took me a few minutes, and it can be done online, by phone or by mail. If you have any questions, please visit www.2020CENSUS.GOV or call Edith Targonski, Stamford Census Coordinator at (203) 977-5069 to complete the Census.

In closing, I would like to thank you in advance for your support in the next phase of the budget process and remind you what we tell our students “in times of struggle—PERSEVERE”!

Dr. Tamu Lucero, Superintendent Stamford Public Schools”