So giving up control of the Fairchild-Wheeler Multi-Magnet School, the newest, largest and most exciting magnet school the state of Connecticut has ever built, over a new fire engine and a couple miles of road paving is a victory? Well, Trumbull did get 40 acres of land, part of it polluted by years of garaging large trucks, so it can extend its Rails to Trails program.
This is not to minimize the value of open space or the trail extension. But Trumbull lost twice over.
First, educationally. It had been assigned approximately 150 seats – 50 as a suburban district participating in this magnet school program, and some 100 for serving as the school’s host. It keeps the participant's seats, but, as part of the resolution of the “border war” it lost the “host” seats.
It also came out on the short end of the financial transaction. The state will pay full tuition for all the school’s 1,500 students. Thus, “returning” 100 students to Trumbull's schools each year also returns a $14 million bill to our taxpayers during the ten year term of Bridgeport's land lease. Is this a victory Trumbull’s fiscally conservative First Selectman might trumpet when he runs for reelection this fall?
On the other hand, perhaps we Trumbull residents should applaud our First Selectman's magnanimity for opining that transferring control of the school to Bridgeport “will help the city bridge the achievement gap.” Thoughtful, but what options remain when one has talked himself out of a luscious, fresh lemon meringue pie and gotten back a basket of lemon rinds (let’s be fair - and one or two fat, juicy, ripe lemons)?
221 Fitch’s Pass