Parents Fight Cuts With Facebook

West Hartford parents are using Facebook, a popular networking site,  to get the word out to other parents what budget cuts could mean for their children. The district is looking into cutting full-day kindergarten at six elementary schools.

The half-day switch is just one proposal from the School Superintendent to deal with a zero percent increase in school spending. But parents say the change will only hurt students and inconvenience parents who rely on the full-day schedule.

"I think that basically if you break it down to a half-day program, it would be only instructional time, they would have less of the center time, the down time, and the possibility for socialization," said Erin Striff, a mother with twin 3-year-olds.

"If my daughter who is entering kindergarten goes half day, she would actually have less school than my preschooler, which doesn't make any sense. I would be spending just a lot of time chauffeuring them," added Sandrine Baun, whose 4-year-old is entering kindergarten next year.

West Hartford's Mayor says while cutting some full-day kindergarten programs is an option, it's not high on the list. In fact, even he doesn't want to see it happen.

"One of a menu of options, we're going through a difficult financial time right now, but I and members of the town council are very confident that we're going to get through the current economic crisis without having to touch all-day kindergarten," said Mayor Scott Slifka.

Still, parents are concerned it's an option at all, so they'll keep voicing their opposition to town leaders. "We want to make sure that it doesn't happen that they know that we are concerned and want to see full day stay," said Amy Borio, whose daughter goes to school next year.

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