NAACP's meeting to address Hartford school consolidation

Hartford parents argued last week that closures would devastate their communities. (WFSB photo)

Parents will get another chance to speak out about proposed closures and consolidations in the Hartford Public Schools system.

This time, a civil rights group is planning on holding a meeting in a neighborhood parents say will be hit the hardest.

The NAACP is holding a meeting in the north end on Thursday for the community to discuss the plans.

The cash-strapped capital city has been looking for ways to fix its struggling school district.

Faced with tough finances and declining enrollment, it hired a consulting firm to let it know where cuts could be made.

The resulting proposals close one school in the Frog Hollow section of the city and three in the North End. The proposals have resulted in frustration from parents.

A consultant hired by the school board proposed closing Thirman Milner Elementary School, along with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and Simpson Waverly, to save money.

“I don't think that would be a good idea at all...not at all,” said Thirman Milner parent Angel Madera. “There's way too many kids that come to this school. There's way too many parents that love coming to this school, I'm one of those parents--not a good idea.”

Parents packed a school board meeting last week to let city officials know the plans would devastate the north end.

Mayor Luke Bronin said he wouldn't accept any of those proposals as is. However, the district must continue to work on a plan to concentrate resources to improve facilities and educational quality.

Bronin asked the Board of Education to hold off on plans to discuss closing schools.

But he does say difficult decisions need to be made for the Hartford district.

Parents said they just want to be part of that conversation.

The NAACP's meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Ebenezer Temple located at 2194 Main St. in Hartford.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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