State Likely Won't Fund Summer School at Hartford Magnet Schools

Earlier this week the state informed both operators of magnet schools in Hartford that there likely won't be enough money for them to fund summer school.

The programs were scheduled to start July 1, the same day as the start of the state's fiscal year.
The State Department Education doesn't yet have a budget for the upcoming fiscal year but a spokesperson told NBC Connecticut that the department is bracing for what could be a difficult funding situation.

Lawmakers most recently patched a $220 million funding hole with a deficit mitigation plan that included $100 million in spending cuts across state government.

The department anticipates even more cuts for the next fiscal year which faces a far more serious estimated $900 million funding shortfall.

NBC Connecticut's efforts to reach Hartford Public Schools for comment on the funding cut for magnets was unsuccessful.

Gabby Smith has children in three Hartford magnet schools and says she fear what students will miss out on during the summer, outside the classroom.

“It’s not just summer school for kids here in Hartford" she said. "It’s a safe place to go to have breakfast and lunch and that’s really important to a lot of kids and it’s not just school. It’s life here. It’s safety.”

Hartford Public Schools also faces a projected $20 million deficit which will be in part filled by administrative cut backs, and layoffs.

Smith says her son is disappointed with one teacher leaving due to the funding cuts.

“My son has a teacher who he knows won’t be coming back next year and she’s really dear to them. They’re really excited about her topic. She teaches two different subjects.”

Lawmakers in the General Assembly will formally complete the session in May, but have until the end of June to craft a new budget.

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