Agma Sweeney Expresses Support for School Budget, Westfield's Schools

City Councilor Agma Maria Sweeney
City Councilor Agma Maria Sweeney
Ms. Sweeney's article appeared in the June 29th issue of "The Westfield News," reprinted below:
I write to explain my vote for the City Budget FY2013, at they City Council meeting on Thursday June 20th and at the Finance Committee meeting on June 19th.
I voted in support of discussing the city budget. What that vote looked like was a NO vote to accept the Mayor's budget as submitted to the City Council.
I support Westfield Public Schools. Mayor Dan Knapik proposed a City Budget that included half a million dollars ($500,000) in cuts to the School Budget submitted by School Superintendent Susan Scallion.
As a resident of Westfield, or of any city or town, I will always gladly pay my taxes to invest in public school education. Public education in the U.S. was created as the great equalizer, designed to provide equal and free education for all our children. That's the investment that collectively as Americans we are called to make for the common good.
I am also a strong supporter and advocate for Quality Early Education. I've contacted Senator Mike Knapik to request that in Conference Committee he support the highest funding levels for Early Education. While this is a newly created line item in the state budget and not part of the Westfield's public school budget, I bring it up to illustrate that I am a strong supporter of education for our children.
I am FOR funding Westfield Public Schools at the highest possible levels proposed by the Mayor, higher if that were possible. If the Mayor felt we could afford to fund the schools as submitted by the Superintendent, he would have. Children in his family attend Westfield public schools. And like all parents, we all want the best possible education for our children.
The majority of councilors supported to accept the Mayor's budget as submitted. If in City Council we had voted to go over the budget in details, I would have not agreed to any cuts whatsoever to the public school budget.
Councilor Agma Sweeney