An Ode to Open Choice

Wilton Board of Education, hear me out

About the Open Choice Program, there's no doubt

The economics of this plan are unclear

Long-term costs to Wilton, we must fear


Just one student from Norwalk we add

And we're locked into a commitment that's not so glad

$260,000 we're obliged to pay

For the next 12 years, come what may


The PPE for Wilton is $23,000 per year

The state gives $3,000, that much is clear

But we're obligated to educate that student for thirteen

The cost to us, $299,000, can you see what I mean?


The state reimburses us $39,000 in all

But that leaves Wilton taxpayers with a $260,000 call

Five students from Norwalk we bring in

And we've obligated Wilton for $1.3 million, oh where to begin?


BOE might say the PPE's not the right measure

That most of it's fixed cost, can't you see the treasure?

But no, over 90% of it is variable cost, no less

Only 2-3% for utilities, bus contract 4%, and superintendent's salary, I confess


Norwalk might be less affluent, but that's not the way

By important financial metrics, they're wealthier, we must say

Their Grand List is three times the size of ours, can you see?

And their Mill Rate's 15% lower than Wilton's, don't you agree?


BOE might also say we have empty chairs to fill

But that's misleading, and it's not a financial thrill

We've reduced class sizes and used dynamic staffing methods

So every classroom with kids has one or more teachers, no duds


Why are we subsidizing a wealth transfer to Norwalk?

Is it a great financial deal for them? I balk

It would be fair if they paid us $20,000 each year

For every "Johnny" we educate, that much is clear


The BOE should consider the benefits, yes that's true

But let's be clear about the costs we accrue

This program silently obligates Wilton taxpayers to a future cost

And I'm not sure the BOE members know what they've lost.

CLICK HERE to write to the Board of Education and tell them you oppose Open Choice.