Groton legislators have been overwhelmed by correspondence from constituents urging them to protect education funding. A grassroots campaign spearheaded by the Groton Education Association (GEA) sent over 300 handwritten letters to legislators’ homes.
GEA President Beth Horler proposed the effort after news first broke that Groton Public Schools could lose millions of dollars in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funds.
The funding cuts would affect all students and all aspects of the school system and the town. Horler talked to Superintendent Michael Graner and got the entire school system on board with holding a solidarity day.
All district employees—from Central Office staff to teachers and paraprofessionals to secretaries, custodians, maintenance crews, and cafeteria staff wore red and black for the solidarity day on April 26. Not only are these the colors of Groton’s high school, but they also represented how the ECS cuts would move the district budget from the black to the red.
Leaders for all Groton Public Schools unions gathered that morning to show their unified support against ECS cuts that would harm the Town and City of Groton as well as Groton Public Schools.
At the end of the day, teachers met in their schools throughout the district to write letters and call their legislators. They shared their own personal stories and urged legislators to protest the cuts.
And how did legislators respond? One local legislator said that he had a “pile of letters” to get through and that he was working hard to reduce the ECS cuts and the burden to the town.