New Haven school budget cuts has parents, teachers fired up - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven school budget cuts has parents, teachers fired up

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A meeting was held to discuss the school budget in New Haven (WFSB Photo) A meeting was held to discuss the school budget in New Haven (WFSB Photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A major deficit in New Haven has the school district considering significant cuts, including the possibility of closing schools.

A $20 million deficit is why there's talk of merging underpopulated schools.

The decision makers said they are focusing on how to more efficiently run the district without impacting the education.

The New Haven Board of education heard a lot at the meeting on Monday night.

“What I want to ask you is that you remember that there are people behind this decision,” said a parent from New Haven

Parents and teachers spoke out against the cuts made toward the district.

“We can't operate under a 20-million-dollar shortfall so we have to make decisions that first prioritize students,” said Dr. Carol Birks, New Haven Superintendent.

Birks joined the district just six weeks ago.

It's a district that faces a $20 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.

Birks said closing that gap will not be easy.

“We're going to look closely at how we're spending those dollars, deploying our staff and putting people in the right seats on the bus.  We may have to make some reductions,” said Birks.

Those reductions could mean cutting staff or programs, or closing schools.

Options the board president said no one likes.

“Everything is on the table. The fact is that we have to make sure we provide a stable environment for our students and teachers,” said Darnell Goldson, Board of Education President.

Factors driving up the budget include personnel contracts, special education, and the final year of a bus contract. Also, the school district is getting less money from the state.

The superintendent intends to have more specifics about where the cuts will come from at a community forum on May 9.

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