The Amity Budget Referendum - May 24, 2022: What you need to know
The ODTC supports voting YES to approve the budget.
OVERVIEW: The new Amity referendum date is May 24. Approximately $200,000 was cut from the budget. These cuts consist of personnel positions including the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) coach, an administrative position that is going to be vacated through attrition, and a custodial position. The budget maintains the middle school elective media arts teachers (2,) the security guard and the cyber security technician.
GET INFORMED: Read the three budget letters (PDFs below) that were sent from the Amity district to Amity families with students at the middle and high schools. These letters explain and clarify the concerns over the budget. In addition to reading these, you can contact Carla Eichler or Paul Davis (our ABOE representatives) for further information. They can answer specific questions regarding what the role of the DEI coach is going to be and the DEI initiatives in the district.
Carla Eichler: email or (203) 676-0720
Paul Davis: email
Watch the Orange Town Meeting on May 11 on youtube or below:
At 21:26, First Selectman Jim Zeoli attempts to explain the DEI Coach position.
At 30:20, School Superintendent reads the mission statement on how DEI is handled in Orange.
At 35:30, resident Robert Lim masterfully educates them and everyone else about DEI resources.
Watch it to get some talking points in case you need to explain the issues to others.
Also, at the May 9 ABOE meeting, Dr. Byars did an excellent job explaining issues. We'll post video link if/when we have it.
DEI COACH: Originally the DEI coach was going to be paid for by using ESSER grant funds for .5 of the position and the Amity budget was funding the other .5. Now the DEI coach is being taken out of the budget and instead will be funded by ESSER, Open Choice and Title 1 funds. Even though the DEI position is no longer in the budget itself, there is still a concern that residents will come out and vote no because DEI is being added to the curriculum.
TAKE ACTION: We need your help getting out the vote for this referendum. We need every ODTC member to vote, bring their friends and spread the word. In addition, consider writing a letter to the New Haven Register or to the local newspapers in support of the budget. You may also consider sharing your opinion (respectfully) via Facebook or other social media platforms.