Letter: Trumbull PTSA Council urges parents to vote

To the Editor:

Why vote? Why is this election so important? The Trumbull PTSA Council is working to answer these questions with our “Get Out the Vote” program, targeted towards parents of students in the Trumbull Public Schools. The PTSA Council has coordinated candidate forums and debates with the League of Women voters, and each event has been filmed and is available on Trumbull Community Television. Our renewed our “Get Out the Vote” efforts this year strive to provide general information about the election, the candidates, voter registration and polling locations. PTSA Council has sent reminders and links to websites where parents can find out more about the candidates running. And look for our exciting “Kids’ Vote 2015” program at the elementary schools on Monday, Nov. 2! The one thing we cannot do, however, is make people show up to vote.

Why is this election year so important? Nearly every local government seat is up for election this year, including all 7 Board of Education seats. Candidates at almost every level will have a say in our nearly $100 million education budget. These elected officials will dictate the direction of the Trumbull Public Schools.

Among voters in the demographic most likely to have children in the school system, voter turnout has been historically low. In 2013 (a similar local election year), the voter turnout percentage of residents ages 26–33 was just 12%; the percentage of voters ages 34–45 was just 31%.

Many of us chose Trumbull because of the strength of its school system, but we are concerned about its direction. Our 2014 SAT scores place Trumbull just 17th out of 21 within our DRG (Demographic Reference Group) in Math, 18th in Writing, and 19th out of 21 in Critical Reading. Our SBAC scores show great disparity even among schools within Trumbull, with our 8th graders scoring at the bottom of our DRG. We still do not offer foreign language as part of the daily curriculum until 7th grade (many other schools within DRG-B do). The percentage of Trumbull High students taking AP classes is 23% - woefully behind other DRG-B districts like Monroe (42%) and Greenwich (60%).

Trumbull PTSA Council urges parents and residents to research all of the candidates running for office this year. Take a few minutes to read a candidate’s profile, watch a candidate forum on Trumbull Community Television, or attend a candidate debate in person. But the single best thing you can do is show up to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to cast your vote. Parents, we need you to have your say! Hope to see you there.
Jen Kehley, 
President, Trumbull PTSA Council