Enfield school board votes in favor of closing Nathan Hale schoo - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Enfield school board votes in favor of closing Nathan Hale school

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Nathan Hale School  (WFSB file photo) Nathan Hale School (WFSB file photo)
Parents encouraged school board members to vote against closing the school on Tuesday night (WFSB) Parents encouraged school board members to vote against closing the school on Tuesday night (WFSB)
ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The school board in Enfield has decided it will close the Nathan Hale Elementary School for good.

The Board of Education took up the matter Tuesday night, which resulted in a 5-4 vote. The idea to close the school was presented at a public meeting in October. The school was on the chopping block due to budget cuts.

The plan would reportedly save the district about $250,000, but parents said in the past that their children’s education is priceless.

"It sickens me because I have a 4-year-old who is supposed to go to Hale starting next year and a 1-year-old that could have been going to Hale in the future as well. The staff there is great and it's like a family it's just going to be hard," said parent Robert Bletz. "I don't see how they say the class sizes are going to be the same, but they are still going to have more classes so there's going more kids in them, I don't see where the savings are."

Students would be dispersed among the three remaining kindergarten to second grade schools in Enfield, but parents have raised a number of concerns, from class size, to travel time, and decreased property values.

"I think the board members have agonized over it for a number of weeks, and I think the community has agonized as well," said board member Tina LeBlanc. "I think based on what I was thinking (was that) we needed to have more of a community approach. I'm concerned about the number of kids going to one school in particular and the decision was made and now we move forward as a board."

Enfield Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Schumann said at a previous meeting that he empathizes with parents, but said that class size would actually decrease, and there will likely be no layoffs.

He said it all boils down to meeting the needs of the current climate.

"With the state's budgetary issues and our fear that the funding from the state capitol is going to be reduced, we were looking at ways to reduce our budget expenditures,” Schumann said at a meeting in November.

The school is expected to be closed by September.

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