Hamden Appears to Avoid School Schedule Changes

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Big changes proposed for the school day in Hamden appear to have been avoided. On Tuesday, the school board said it’s potentially found a solution for some of its busing challenges.

“It’s a situation that never should have been placed on our community,” said Melissa Kaplan, Hamden Board of Education chair.

The board chair made a surprise announcement at a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Kaplan reports the town’s legislative council is now willing to fork over $600,000 for school transportation.

That would help the district avoid adopting busing plans that could have seen school schedules changing, from all schools starting earlier to all elementary schools not starting until 9 a.m.

“This was an issue that caused great angst. It required parents, students and teachers to uproot their schedules, scramble to figure out childcare. It would be a literal upheaval of the fabric of our schools,” said Mariam Khan, Hamden Board of Education member.

On Tuesday, the board voted to keep the current schedule with some slight improvements to service. That was plan the town required to get the money, according to the board chair.

Many board members were taken aback by the legislative council’s actions after having flat-funded the district budget.

“Where does it end? Every single year they can basically hold us over our heads to vote a certain way otherwise we’re not getting funding. It’s a back-door approach to try to circumvent state statute. I have a problem with that,” said Austin Cesare, Hamden Board of Education member.

For now, board members admit it’s a leap of faith that the council follows through with the funds. And they say it’s going to take work to make sure it happens.

“I thank the community for making their voice heard. Keep sending those letters and we need your support,” said Reuel Parks, Hamden Board of Education secretary.

The council could vote on sending the extra money over as soon as Monday.

We reached out to the council for comment but have not yet heard back.

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