MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Tough cuts could be coming to Milford Public Schools. The district’s board of education has to cut $1.8 million from next year’s proposed budget, according to officials. 

The Milford Board of Education has a $106 million budget for the 2023-24 school year. That is a 4.4% increase from the adopted budget of the previous school year. The Milford Board of Finance said the city needs to cut $1.8 million from the education budget.

The superintendent compiled a list of potential reductions. Reductions include cutting school counselors, STEM and language programs in elementary schools, field trips, freshmen sports and staff. School closures are also on the table. 

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“It is going to be a devastating loss to Milford kids if they lose all these programs that they just got back this year,” said Emmeline Harrigan, a Milford parent. “It is going to be a devastating loss to milford kids to lose all these programs that they just got back this year. This is the first year that we’ve had music at our school month, it has been so robust. Kids have been able to do plays, full schedules of athletic activities.”

The Milford Public Schools district schools serve 5,400 students. Another possible cut could be closing one of the district’s eight elementary schools or one of the three middle schools, or the academy.

“It’s disruptive to their education,” said Susan Glennon, chair of the Milford Board of Education. “Relationship building is really important to us in Milford Public Schools so these kids have all built relationships in their school buildings, their friends and custodians, the teachers.”

The board wore red to show support for a fully funded budget. 

The Milford Alderman Board will hold a public hearing and then vote on the finance board’s recommendation to cut $1.8 million from the budget. Parents and school officials are hoping the city reinstates the money. 

“Suddenly all the hard work, all the planning, and all the continued success of the Milford school system is in doubt, is being questioned by slashing 1.8 million,” said Theodore Boynyon, a Milford parent. 

The Milford Alderman Board has not announced the meeting dates to discuss and vote on the budget.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled at Milford City Hall on Monday. Some parents will be gathering for a rally beforehand to push for the extra funding.