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May 11, 2012 > New Haven District School Board meeting update

New Haven District School Board meeting update

Submitted By Rick La Plante

In response to an outpouring of concern about how state budget cuts might affect the District's music program, on May 1, Board of Education members urged an audience of more than 100 people to get involved in efforts to pass Measure H on the June 5 ballot.

More than 20 students and parents spoke during the public comment portion of the Board's regular meeting, concerned about how the possible reduction or elimination of elementary school specialists and middle school electives might impact the music program, particularly at James Logan High.

Elementary specialists and middle school elective teachers are among more than 100 teachers, classified employees and administrators who have been issued precautionary layoff notices this spring as the District deals with a projected deficit of $10.7 million for the 2012-13 school year, the result of the latest round of state budget cuts. The District also is bracing for another increase in class sizes, another reduction to the instructional year and the elimination of stipends for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

All five Board members thanked the audience and said the best hope for minimizing the proposed cuts would be to pass Measure H.

Measure H would raise an estimated $3 million to "support high-quality local elementary, middle and high school education to prepare students for college and careers with outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math and science and highly qualified teachers and classified staff," according to the ballot statement. The measure would authorize a parcel tax of $180 per year, with citizen oversight, no funds for administrators' salaries and exemptions available for senior citizens and the disabled. Measure H, which would expire after four years, requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

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