To the Editors:

This Saturday’s vote is a critical inflection point in Wilton schools. Will the status quo of teacher disenfranchisement from learning model decisions continue for another year or will voters come to our teachers’ and students’ rescue? Administrators from Board of Education members to their non-classroom salaried staff seek approve of a “zero increase.”

Make no mistake, a zero increase buys the same failing instructional model experimentation that former teachers and parents at the May 2 Annual Town Meeting stated depresses teacher morale, dilutes relationships with students, and diminishes students’ futures. Wilton’s excellent teachers will leave, those remaining will be underpaid and disengaged because of today’s misdirected model and attending over-funding.

Recapturing Wilton’s educational excellence and reputation requires rolling back the budget to the previous learning model’s spending levels, which will cut out Universal Design Learning’s (UDL) administrative fat and assure today’s and future students’ return to the prior teacher-driven formula.

Though counter-intuitive, the only way to recapture educational excellence is to vote “No Too High” in order to force the unplugging of the administrative headcount and spending attributed to UDL. A “No Too High” vote will cut this bloated, administrator-class system and therein re-establish Wilton teachers’ voice and every student’s 1x1 front-row seat.

Avoiding matching other towns’ rising costs for UDL is Wilton’s golden opportunity to differentiate itself! Defunding this UDL direction will enable Wilton to keep the area’s best teachers while attracting clear-thinking home buyers who’ll willingly pay taxes for a proven teacher-prioritized model.

“Zero increase” status quo will bring yet another year of systemic mistakes for which residents foot the annual bill, but students pay a lifetime price. Support teachers and students by voting “No Too High” for a return to the winning platform.
Eric Gustafson
Fox Run, May 3