Trumbull Resident:Trumbull 'Lost Twice' on Magnet School

The school is in parkland controlled by Bridgeport (formerly controlled by Trumbull).

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)?

Roy Fuchs
221 Fitch’s Pass

Trumbulltruth January 12, 2013 at 10:51 PM
I am amazed how quick the new school is going up and our THS is, um not sure how is the status of it?
Corrie S. January 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM
I agree. We have labored on the THS project. So much undermining by the town, politicians, and the old people. It's embarrassing. Now even Bridgeport will have a more modern facility.
louis January 13, 2013 at 12:58 AM
I think we're missing the point on these kind of issues. I'm not getting either a republican or democratic argument. If you are a democrat, you should be opposed to this because it undermines the concept of free and open public education. If you are a republican, you should be offended by the expenditure of tax dollars on a dubious and experimentally exclusive school which is not exceptional or private. What we have here with these projects is an attempt to place a band-aid on the reputation of public education, instead of seeking to repair it as we should be doing.
Joe Smith January 13, 2013 at 09:25 AM
At least Chad won't have "outsiders" on his lawn! Nice job keeping Trumbull safe! The THS renovation is getting lapped but the Magnet school is being completed... I guess that's another difference between Trumbull and Bridgeport. Hey Trumbull, what are you getting for your $68 million? Do you even care?
gail jarvis January 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Louis---Very well said!!! When we MUST IMPROVE 'the education of young' the answer is simple--- "Lets build another school"!!!!! What am I missing?
Roy Fuchs January 13, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Several years ago Sheff vs. O'Neill found de facto segregation existed between the school districts in Hartford and West Hartford. The judge mandated that schools be built to attract inner cities and surrounding suburban children. Fairchild-Wheeler is the newest. It offers a curriculum different from Trumbull's. It is not a band aid. It is experimental just as our Agriscience school is - offering a targeted curriculum rather than a broad based one and one that selects its students rather than taking all comers. Claire Gold, Westport's former Superintendent of Schools, and one who was working to strengthen education for inner city children 40 years ago, designed and developed this and other magnet schools and their curricula. In point of fact, this school will bring together students from eight communities to learn in a facility designed for its curriculum, and with partners and resources not available to our school system, or to Bridgeport's. Though students will be selected by lottery, it "undermines the concept of free and open public education" no more than does limiting a course at THS to 24 students does. If you are a Republican you prefer stronger, more focused education for our children. And you prefer that the $14 million "tuition" be paid by the largest possible base - taxpayers statewide rather than Trumbull's alone. You are also interested having students educated for the emerging knowledge economy, as this school does.
raymond jaroszewski January 18, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Trumbull lost 40 acres of open space check your maps !!!


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