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Dorothy Neth-Kunin

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Party: Republican

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Age: 57

Marital Status: Married for 30 years

Current Residence: Naugatuck

Current Job: Senior Underwriting Consultant; United Health Group, Hartford CT

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Education: Master’s in Management and Bachelor's degree in Finance, Central Connecticut State University.

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Why are you running for this office?
As a member of the community Dorothy is running for Board of Education for many reasons a few stand-out: 1) to serve as an advocate for public education within our community 2) to assist in offering a high quality education to all children in our community where we are educating all students today for tomorrow’s future while staying the course for the vision of the graduate. 3) Work towards financial accountability through a positive school-community partnership.
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What is the most pressing local issue facing your community and how would you solve it (within the capacity of the office for which you are running)?
Taxes and Infrastructure, The Board cannot speak to these issues directly but can maintain our fiscally responsible outlook through our budget and try to come as close too flat as we have in the past two budget cycles. I believe that if we continue to focus on student learning and engagement we can begin to develop future leaders of our community and beyond.
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With the state's ongoing budget crisis looming over the election, what are your plans for your community's budget? Is there anything you can do make your town less dependent on revenue from the state?
From a Board of Education perspective, we will continue to review and assess each of the school's needs from a student-centered viewpoint. We will make the necessary adjustments as needed once additional information from the state level becomes available. Not one person has a crystal ball and we will not compromise student education and safety. The Board of Education will work closely with the superintendent and administrative staff and monitor the situation and discuss options as necessary. What are those options at this I cannot say?
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The legislature has been debating various ideas to allow towns to raise revenue locally through something other than property taxes. If you could ease your residents' property tax burden by adding another method of taxation, is there anything you might consider for your town?
The Board of Education is in the business of providing a safe environment for high-quality learning, ensuring education for all students today for tomorrows future as we focus on the vision of the graduate. The Board of Education provides a student-centered budget by school to meet the needs of the community while maintaining a fiscally responsible approach. The board of burgess and mayor are tasked to bring business into the community to grow the tax base and reduce taxes in a fiscally responsible way.
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Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
While a good idea, in theory, one must do extensive research to see if there are like needs in surrounding communities to determine if shared services is a viable option. Once a decision is made then one must determine who the controlling entity is and if there is an impact on future state funding to the individual districts. I believe that we engage in shared services where it makes sense but there has to be a structure in place for accountability and it must be a viable option.
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Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
YES, funding should not be tied to enrollment it should be tied to needs of the district. One could argue if you lose 30 students you should lose 2 teachers and it is even. It does not work that way. We have 10 schools and one can lose 3 children in each school but still need the same teachers. We are a community-based school district serving all of the needs of our community. Additionally, the cost of supplies increases, wages, maintenance, special education spending and so on. Children’s needs increase as more families move into a district where there is a greater level of assistance. Our school budget is student-centered by school and is based on the needs of the students. We are also faced with ongoing unfunded mandates brought on by the state.
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What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I am a compassionate caring individual who has the students and district in mind at all times. I do not have a personal agenda. I am a for the student by the student individual and look at all parts of a process. Fun Fact, while in college I climbed Mount Washington.