Ansonia May Have Agreement in School Budget Battle

The budget battle between the city of Ansonia and it’s school district may be nearing an end after both the Board of Education and the Board of Alderman voted in favor of a deal reached through mediation Monday night.

School leaders had said they might be forced to close early because they didn’t have the money to keep operations going.

There has been a lot of anger and frustration from parents, the school board and the city. But the new settlement shows there’s progress in the contentious saga.

The board of Alderman said the deal involves the city giving $500,000 to the Board of Education for the current fiscal year, something that was empathized as a one-time deal.

The money must go to specific items, including special education tuition and payroll expenses.

The Board of Education had filed a lawsuit accusing the city of illegally cutting $600,000 from their budget back in January. But the Board of Alderman president said they initially allocated that amount when it was uncertain if the district would receive state funding.

When it did, the $600,000 was taken back.

Monday the board president said the good news is that the kids will graduate and that classes will continue through the end of the school year. But parents said they’re sick of the fighting.

“We look ridiculous. I'm ashamed to say I live here I really am and I love where I live,” one parent who spoke during public comment said.

“I have many friends who are looking to move who have already put their homes on the market because of this. They don't want their children suffering anymore,” Samantha Endres said.

The Board of Education president said they’ll still need to go to court tomorrow, and points out that while there won’t be any layoffs this fiscal year, flat funding means that won’t be the case next year.

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