Use Waterbury’s federal COVID funds to invest in students, not buildings

Waterbury students are being denied access to the resources that would increase their chances of succeeding and as an advocate for the community I love it is my responsibility to call out those responsible. Mayor Neil O’Leary, Superintendent Verna D. Ruffin, and the Waterbury Board of Education (WBoE) are at fault and easiest to blame. However, there are others who have failed to protect the basic educational rights of Waterbury’s students, especially Black and Brown students.  

Robert Goodrich

Despite assurances from State Department of Education (SDE) officials Irene Parisi and Desi Nesmith, the Waterbury American Rescue Plan funding was conditionally approved on March 11th, without any communication from the SDE. Through this conditional approval we know our advocacy and organizing is working. However, this conditional approval will still allow the City of Waterbury to use an unprecedented amount of funding for building maintenance and property improvements instead of investing these precious COVID relief funds into the educational programming that would help alleviate the consistent low-level educational success of Waterbury students’ experience.

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