Ansonia schools threaten city with second lawsuit over next year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Ansonia schools threaten city with second lawsuit over next year’s budget

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Ansonia schools are threatening to sue the city for a second time over next year's school budget (WFSB) Ansonia schools are threatening to sue the city for a second time over next year's school budget (WFSB)
ANSONIA, CT (WFSB) -

The Ansonia school district is expected to sue the city over funding for the second time.

Students and parents were just breathing a sigh of relief because two days ago, the current school year was saved.

The new lawsuit is about the school year next year.

The schools say they’re being funded at the 2016 level and they want to be funded at the 2017 level. The difference is $600,000 dollars.

“We probably will have to seek more litigation because we need more money,” said Fred Dorsey, Ansonia Board of Education attorney.

Just as one nasty battle looked like it was coming to a close, another looms over the city.

It’s all about next year’s $31.2 million school budget.

The city funded the schools at the 2016 level, not at the 2017 level where the schools saw an extra $600,000.

“Now they’re saying, ‘we took that 600,000 back and we’re going to expect you to live now two years in advance in 2018-19 with the same money you got in 16-17,’” said Dorsey.

The schools say if they don’t get the money, students will see programs getting cut and teachers being laid off.

Those were the same consequences that were being threatened during the most recent budget spat, but this time, no one can wait weeks or months for a resolution.

Because of union contracts, teachers have to be notified of layoffs on the last day of school which is Monday.

“People want to know what their futures hold. We go through this every year in Ansonia, but this is by far the worst we ever dealt with,” said Mat Hough from Ansonia Federation of Teachers.

The district says cuts will come across the board, in every department.

Current estimates are 20 to 25 teachers will be let go.

Students and parents say it’s a shame that they will ultimately feel the effects.

“A lot of the teachers have molded me into the person I am today. A lot of them kept me going through the years,” said Justin Stewart.

Many parents are also weary of the in-fighting that’s brought statewide attention to the city.

“We might be facing more backlash, but I can’t believe it would be as much if we don’t do anything,” said Dorsey.

Channel 3 spoke with one of the 14 aldermen on Wednesday night.

He says he wants to work with the schools, but he says it’ll take months.

The schools don’t have that kind of time because again, contractually, layoffs notices need to be given no later than Monday.

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