When the Board of Education meets tonight, it will be chairman Michael D'Agostino's last appearance.
In January, D'Agostino will take his seat in the state legislature representing the 91st District, replacing the retiring Peter Villano. D'Agostino ran for the seat unopposed in last month's elections.
On Monday he submitted his letter of resignation from the school board effective Jan. 1.
"For more than a decade, the people of Hamden have honored me with the task of helping to improve one of our Town’s most important institutions -- our public school system. I hope that I have met their expectations," he wrote.
"When I joined the Board in 1999, it faced many challenges. It still does. The Board has worked hard, in a bipartisan fashion, to address them.
"In my last seven years as chairperson, the Board has presented realistic budgets to the town, outsourced services and reformed its purchasing procedures – all in an open process where the public can see every line item. We partner with our PTAs, most recently to expand after-school programs. We have a new Middle School, and several new or renovated elementary schools. We implemented data-driven instruction and have seen steady score improvement. And we take great pride in our teachers, meeting with them to make sure that they have the support and resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
"There is, of course, much left to do. Our student population is much poorer than it was a decade ago. Children are entering our system without basic reading skills. The number of students with special educational needs has exploded, as has the cost of educating them.
"As the newest member of Hamden’s state legislative delegation, these issues will be my foremost concern. We must protect Hamden’s share of funding for education, and we desperately need property tax relief. More broadly, we must build support for our families so they have access to jobs, health care and education -- so that they can build their own families and contribute to our community.
"The people of Hamden have elected me to do these things, this time in a different arena, but with the same goals. I hope to exceed their expectations."