Wallingford biggest loser in Southern Connecticut in Malloy budget

Education

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Dannel Malloy‘s plan to cut funding to some municipalities will have a huge impact on many school systems.

Towns counting on that money for education will now have to seriously consider cutting back school programs or hiking up ‘Property Taxes’ or both.

Under the governor’s proposed state budget there are thirty communities that get more funding for education like Waterbury, New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford. And there are 130 communities that will be losers, getting less.

The biggest loser in Southern Connecticut is Wallingford. A $10 million hit in a $100 million school budget.

“We’d have to look at all the layers of our programming,” said Sal Menzo, the Wallingford Superintendent of Schools.

He adds they’ve already made lots of cutbacks like charging a fee for sports.Related Content: Transcript of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Biennial Budget Address

“It would be hard to say that it wouldn’t impact class size, wouldn’t impact instructional programming. It would impact the services that we provide parents,” said Menzo.

Twenty-two or less is considered the ideal class size so that each child gets the attention he or she needs.

Mary Poisson, Principal of Wallingford’s Yalesville Elementary School says larger class sizes would not be good for many kids.

“It would be less frequent that they would have the opportunity to work one-on-one with the teacher,” said Poisson.

“Some of the things that are on the chopping block are all day kindergarten. There will be some curricular and extra curricular activities that will be affected and the maintenance of the buildings will be affected as well,” said Joe Cirasuolo, the head of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.

Cirasuolo said that school systems statewide are considering these kinds of cutbacks.

The governor says many towns, like Wallingford, have cash in their Rainy Day Funds and can afford to take the hit. But the School Superintendents Association says the governor’s plan just penalizes towns that have efficiently managed their finances. The superintendent in Wallingford also says that while the reductions are significant, he plans to work with his staff to keep them as far away from the students as possible.

Statewide, Wallingford is actually number two on the lists of towns losing education funding from the state. West Hartford tops the list state-wide losing about $13 million.

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