New Haven Public Schools Deal With $3.6 Million Shortfall

The superintendent of New Haven’s public schools is preparing to make some difficult decisions for the upcoming school year.

The latest budget from the city increases funding to the Elm City’s schools by roughly $2 million over the previous school year. However, that’s about $3.6 million short of what Supt. Garth Harries said the school actually need.

“It isn’t everything we asked for. In this kind of economic climate, you may not get what you ask for. We have about $6.5 million of cost increases. The board has already identified some cuts” he said.

To make the new budget work, there could be cuts to around 20 teaching positions, Harries said, but he hopes cuts to classroom positions will be minimal, if at all.

“We’re going to concentrate in central office, frankly, so central office cuts, programs and services that are coordinated out of central office,” he said.

If cuts do have to come inside schools, Harries said they could include instructional coaches for teachers and other support staff, with the hope that no actual classroom instructors would lose their jobs.

For parents of New Haven students learning of the budget issues in the city’s public school system, Harries wants them to know that education will continue to be a priority, even as school leaders find ways to do more with less.

“By no means are we saying we’re not going to be able to open classes -- we’re not going to educate students. It’s going to be that much harder. There will be some things that people value that won’t happen, but our core responsibility, prepare our kids for college, career and life,” he said.

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