Cheshire School Department Announces District-Wide Reductions

With the state budget still in the balance, the Cheshire public school district is announcing district-wide reductions.

Two weeks before classes begin, the district said it will not be filling positions it budgeted for.

The high school is set to lose a science teacher, while the middle school will lose a social worker.

Perhaps the most noticeable are the changes at the elementary level. According to the district, each of the four elementary schools will lose a fifth-grade teacher, resulting in an increase in class size.

“All four elementary schools losing a fifth-grade teacher across the board -- that is huge and quite concerning,” said 5th-grade parent Casey Stevenson.

The size of each fifth class is expected to jump to 25 students.

Jessica Granahan, a member of the PTA and the mother of a 5th-grade student at Doolittle Elementary, said she moved to Cheshire solely for the schools and is sad to see this new direction.

"I just wanted them to have a better class, better school environment and now it seems like it’s dwindling back, so it is kind of scary," Granahan said.

The district, however, insists this was the best possible option.

"We have reviewed enrollment at each grade and school to identify areas where we could make adjustments and continue to provide our students and families with an excellent academic experience," Cheshire Supt. Jeff Solan said.

In the case of a potential $8 million cut to Cheshire, the superintendent said the move is "prudent without substantially compromising quality."

Both Ganahan and Stevenson are looking for state lawmakers to step up and worry the current budget battle is only the beginning and it is one education won’t win.

"There are always tough cuts that need to be made, but I think first and foremost it can’t always be the children," Stevenson said.

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