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Letter: No justification for school chief's raise

Published 10:06 am, Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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After hearing that Superintendent Elliott Landon was given yet another raise by our Board of Education, I am glad that I am no longer a student in the Westport School District. I only feel bad for the students who have to go to schools run by a board that apparently does not know how to allocate funds.

In the past five years, the Board of Education has, at the behest of the RTM and Board of Finance, slashed funding that impacts students. Classes are bigger, secretaries and paraprofessionals have been cut, and general budgets have been sharply reduced. Two years ago, every untenured teacher was given a pink slip. In my time as a student at Staples High School [the writer is a 2012 graduate], even tissues were a luxury we could not afford, according to the Board of Education.

With these cuts in mind, there can be no reasonable explanation for increasing Landon's salary, especially since he was already the highest-paid superintendent in the state before this raise.

Last year, while trying to cut French and Physical Education from the curriculum, Landon said, "We have grabbed all the low-hanging fruit, and the orchard is bare." Now, Landon's salary hangs lower than the rest of the fruit on the tree.

If the Board of Education truly believes our financial situation is so dire, they should put a freeze on Landon's salary. If they do not, it is time for parents and students in this community to make their voices heard.

Eric Essagof

Westport