Tesoro calls Herbst's education plan 'Nothing but rhetoric'

Looking over the first selectman’s education agenda on Wednesday, Aug. 26, Democratic challenger Vicki Tesoro said that some of the ideas presented were copied from her speeches.

I’m pleased to see that my opponent has been listening to my campaign speeches,” she said of First Selectman Tim Herbst's 2025 education plan.

“Many of his ideas in his 2025 plan for education are included in my speeches but these ideas need to be addressed now,” she added.

The Town Council member said that the town could do establish better priorities and practices through “spending smarter, not more” — a phrase she's adopted earlier in the month her campaign.   

“We need to work with the educators to find the best solutions, and that does not happen by making education an annual political football,” she said.

Attacking the 10-year outlook, Tesoro called Herbst’s Education 2025 plan “a little more than political rhetoric in an election year.” 

“We need to address education in Trumbull right now,” she said. 

Big issues

Tesoro said that the projected drop in enrollment to levels not seen in Trumbull in over 50 years should concern every resident. 

“It means that our town is profoundly changing, and not for the better,” she said. ”It means that our property values will certainly underperform neighboring towns which are not experiencing such a precipitous drop.”

Tesoro added that it was time to stop with the 10 year plans.

In her response to Herbst’s plan, Tesoro said that Trumbull schools had over 7,000 students when her opponent was elected in 2009, and projections call for enrollment to be almost 20% lower by 2022. 

“This would put Trumbull enrollment to a number not seen since the 1960's,” she said. ”Putting politics aside for a moment, does anyone honestly think this is good for Trumbull? Combine that with deep cuts to curriculum development and textbooks, and technology which still needs improvement and we can see that we need to address education in Trumbull today. 

“What will happen to the property values in our town if we have the lowest number of students in our school system since the 1960's?” she asked rhetorically

She said what Trumbull needs is a defined plan for incremental improvement year over year now.

Such a plan would address certain key issues including:

  • Overcrowding at Booth Hill School now.

  • Increase the number of students at THS taking AP classes now.

  • Focus on curriculum development by giving teachers tools needed for professional development

  • Keep career politicians out of educationEnsure every every student has the opportunity to reach their potential by giving them the proper support academically, emotionally, and socially.

“Let me repeat this we can do these things by establishing better priorities and spending smarter, not more,” Tesoro said.