Let me start by saying I am a big fan of freedom of information. However, I recognize that much of life is a negotiation. I believe the commentary by Mike Savino about the end of the Partnership for Connecticut suggests that is not the case, even when a private philanthropist’s foundation offers to spend $100 million to help Connecticut’s public school students most in need at what has now become an even more perilous time in their lives and the lives of their families.
Saying that freedom of information is “non-negotiable” suggests to me that Savino has not taken the time to step back to analyze the bigger and more complete picture in this particular case. Declaring, in essence, that any negotiation on a measured stance regarding FOI and the Partnership for Connecticut, is neither appropriate or good citizenship, is in my opinion fool hearty and unfortunate. This is the type of decision that calls for common sense, wise judgement and a willingness to find common ground – which is, as most would agree, so seldom demonstrated these days.
I was relatively certain that the Dalio Foundation would make good on its commitment of $100 million to Connecticut’s students, regardless of what the state decided to do relative to the partnership. Anybody who spent the time to investigate what the foundation has done to help Connecticut public school students over the last number of years would have come to the same conclusion, I believe.
Our current world situation certainly seems to be propagating quite a lot to be rightfully concerned about, which has led to a heretofore unseen level of paranoia and confusion. Difficult times for sure. But, respectfully, what exactly was Savino worried was going to happen in this partnership effort?
I think we have to all ultimately acknowledge that without some degree of reasonable trust, there simply is no progress. I, for one, believe that the Dalio Foundation has earned the citizens of Connecticut’s trust. I also believe Gov. Ned Lamont’s intentions are and remain true (and wise) on this.
It’s such a shame it appears we’ve once again decided to throw the “baby out with the bathwater” here at the great expense of our students…the lifeblood of this and every state’s future.
Howard Horvath lives in West Haven.