It’s municipal budget time. And you know what that means? School “leaders” propose a budget that is out of touch with fiscal reality, and when the public cries foul, the administrators begin threatening to cut sports programs and jobs that don’t even exist.
Torrington is no different in this game of budget charades. Just in the last two weeks, two businesses employing 50 people, have announced they are closing up shop. But School Superintendent Cheryl F. Kloczko failed to get the memo, proposing a budget that increases spending by 7.8 percent or $5.2 million. This, even though the school population has not increased. The usual explanation is given. To turn in a budget under $5.2 million would mean the city is not adhering to federal and state mandates.
But what happens if the various city boards say this figure is not affordable? Well, Kloczko replied, programs will have to be cut. Sports, of course, would be first on the chopping block. All middle school athletics would be gone. Kiss freshmen and JV high school sports good by. Perish the thought, even green energy proposals, like that $300,000 solar project for the Forbes School would have to be abandoned. And oh yea, those current non-existent jobs, such as another assistant principal for the middle school, they would have to be “cut” too.
The usual ending is predictable. The school system will get half that increase and claim it can survive. The municipal side of the budget will get no increase, taxes will go up, and a city’s infrastructure will continue to crumble. The game has started. The outcome is already known.