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November 15, 2011 > New Haven Board update

New Haven Board update

Submitted By Rick La Plante

The Board of Education on Tuesday night agreed to move ahead with the process of calling a special election next May to ask voters to approve a parcel tax to help relieve budget pressures caused by the state's ongoing financial crisis.

The Board also approved commissioning a community survey to gauge which priorities are most important to voters and the tax level they are willing to support. The survey likely would take place during the first week of January, so results could be available before the election filing deadline, February 2.

Last year, the District asked voters to approve a $180 per parcel tax to raise approximately $3 million. Measure B garnered 66.4 percent of the vote, a handful of votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to pass. As a result, the District was forced to increase class sizes and reduce the length of the school year by five days; all employees also are taking a sixth day without pay. The number of stipends for athletics, band, forensics and other after-school activities has been reduced, and further cuts to those programs were avoided only because of a one-time $100,000 donation from the independent New Haven Schools Foundation.

Also, the Board:

Approved a one-year contract extension for Superintendent Kari McVeigh, through November 30, 2015.

Was introduced to Dr. Olivia Lynch, the new Director of K-12 Programs. Dr. Lynch, who has more than 30 years of professional experience in education, already has worked with James Logan High School on its redesign efforts, in her role as a coach for large high schools with academies.

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