Middletown Council votes to increase BOE budget by $5.6M

Middlesex

Before the Common Council’s budget meeting, education budget cuts in Middletown  were being considered, and were pitting some common council members against leaders of the town’s school district.

Middletown schools Superintendent Michael Conner sounded the alarm ahead of Wednesday night’s budget vote, telling News 8 exclusively that any cuts would harm your children’s education and hurt programming at a new middle school being built.

“They know what we need,” Conner said. “They know what is necessary to move the district forward.”

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew told News 8 he’s against slashing education.

The final vote, however, ultimately decided the opposite. The Middletown Council voted to spend more on schools, $5.6 million more, which means bigger tax bills on residents. The Mill rate will likely increase from 33.8 to 35. 

Related Content: Plainville residents approve Board of Education’s new budget

So what will this money be used for?

The Board of Education says they are pushing for social and emotional learning in elementary schools, bolstering early childhood education including Pre-K, helping advanced students excel, and ensure those struggling have the attention and resources to learn and grow.

Related Content: Plainville residents approve Board of Education’s new budget

The goal is to close the achievement gap and make sure every student is set up for success. 

Board of Education members say this is a huge victory for education. 

“The 5.6 million, that is really unprecedented,” Chair of the Board of Education, Christopher Drake said.  “There’s typically a 2, 2.5 or 3-percent increase, so 6.5-percent is a dramatic departure from the past.” 

“This will overall benefit the city – when you have a strong education system, property values go up,” Edward Ford, Board of Education member said.  “We want to do the best for our kids, for our city and we are very proud of this.” 

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