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Wilton Daily Voice serves Wilton, CT

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Wilton Mom Fights for Small Class Sizes

Maria Wilcox, a mother of two, believes that students learn better when they get more personal attention from teachers. She shared that opinion with the Wilton Board of Finance at its meeting Tuesday night while she pleaded for it to give the Board of Education the budget it needs to not cut teacher positions.

"The teacher only has so much time in a day, and with fewer students they can spend more time with each one," Wilcox said after the meeting. She has expressed her concern to the board at previous public forums, and it has told her that residents can donate to the Board of Education to increase its budget. But in researching the school district's policy, she found that individuals cannot make donations for teacher salaries.

"Every class does not need a Smartboard, but every class needs a teacher," Wilcox said during the meeting.

Finance board member Andrew Pforzheimer said Wilcox and other parents may not be able to donate directly toward teacher salaries. But paying for other improvements would cut costs for the Board of Education, which would then have more funds for teacher salaries. Pforzheimer also suggested making donations to the town. He said that if enough people sent in donations, the board would have to re-examine the mill rate.

Wilcox retorted that forcing people to make donations seemed like a tax on the parents of school-age children. She also said public schools should benefit everyone equally and said Wilton schools would begin to favor those who made donations.

Pforzheimer told Wilcox that town donations usually remain anonymous. Wilcox disagreed and maintained that the best way to ensure a better education would be to give the Board of Education the budget it seeks.

What do you think of Wilton school's class sizes? What is the most important quality of a strong education? How do you feel about making donations to town budgets?

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