The shrinking state budget appears ready to claim another casualty.
Education leaders in Groton believe they will have to shut down an elementary school because fewer dollars are coming from Hartford.
It won’t be clear exactly how large this cut will be until the final state budget is released, but school district officials say it will be a game changer and force hundreds of students to find a new school and dozens of teachers to find a new place to work.
The school that could close is Pleasant Valley Elementary School.
“It's not a good picture but it's our responsibility as educators to make it work,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Graner, who added that he must trim $4 million from his budget. “We are going to do our best to minimize the impact on children. To keep the programs on track.”
The closure would force 300 students to change schools and dozens of teachers and staff members to be laid off.
Town leaders said the slashing is necessary because they expect to receive between $5 and $9 million less from the state in the new budget.
The schools are the biggest recipient of funding so they get the biggest cut.
Groton Mayor Bruce Flax said he understands slashing the school budget will hurt the town but he says at this point, Groton leaders don't have an alternative. He blames state lawmakers.
“To take a community and cut their budget by over ten percent in one given year is just it's unheard of,” Flax said.
No final decision will be made until a meeting on April 24.
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