Cuts Come to West Hartford Schools

40 layoffs were approved Tuesday night to balance the West Hartford school budget.

In a unanimous decision, the West Hartford Board of Education voted in next year's budget.  Faced with a zero percent increase in spending, the superintendent was forced to make cuts, including about 40 positions in the school district.

"It hasn't been easy, and it won't be this year's school going into next year.  There will be some people who won't be here," said Jack Darcey, Vice Chairman of the West Hartford Board of Education.

One of the sacrifices is Jackie Salinas, who is the Hispanic liaison for the town's elementary schools.  Salinas helps Spanish speaking students and parents get more involved in education.
"I see that these people are in real need of this position, so it's like I'm concerned because of my family, my income, but I'm more concerned about what's going to happen with these families," said Jackie Salinas.

"Jackie Salinas, it's my understanding, she's a catalyst, she does work above and beyond the call of duty in trying to make Spanish speaking people in West Hartford feel more a part of the community," said Eric Fleming of West Hartford.

There is still hope that the position will be reinstated this fall.  It all depends on federal grant money.

"I have high hopes that we'll get that.  She was in that originally and then that position would go right back in," said Darcey.

Parents hope that's the case.

"You need to help them, and make sure they say, 'Hey, somebody's here to help you,' and that is my goal, that is what I want to do," said Salinas.

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