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Thursday, May 1, 2008

School officials told not to expect more from state

By James Tinley
Register Staff
MILFORD
— The school board has long fought for more money through the statewide education cost sharing program.
But as the General Assembly’s budget deliberations draw to a close, school officials were told by state House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, not to expect any increase in ECS funds this year.
At a meeting Wednesday in Amann’s Hartford office, Amann said Milford will not receive any additional ECS funds this year because of a projected $15 million state deficit, but he also said the district will not receive a reduction from last year’s amount.
“It’s a bad economy,” Amann said. “We’re in a deficit mode. We’re much better off than surrounding states. The best thing we can do is not raise taxes.”
Amann said every year lawmakers hear the same thing from education officials concerning the ECS formula.
“Everyone says the formula is not fair,” Amann said. “Milford says it’s not fair. Bridgeport and New Haven say the formula is not fair.”
School board Chairman David Hourigan, D-4, said they discussed ECS money but, “there’s not much that can be done with that formula.”
Board of Education members and Superintendent of Schools Harvey Polansky also aired their concerns about proposed high school reforms that school board members said would put further economic strain on the school system.
“We’re concerned it’s going to add expenses,” Hourigan said. “When you add classes you add teachers and space. And that all costs money.”
Polansky said the conversation with Amann was “wide ranging and free flowing,” but the biggest concern on his mind was finances.
“The economy is hurting everybody,” Polansky said. He added, “The speaker has a deep commitment to the city of Milford.” But added, “we didn’t leave with a check or a promissory note.”
Amann said local education officials’ concerns about high school reforms are “legitimate.” The state’s proposal appears to be widening and not closing the achievement gap, he said. He’d like to see superintendents from around the state meet for breakfast this summer so they can share their concerns.
Amann said it’s possible that opposition from superintendents will ensure legislators do not act on the proposed legislation.
The proposed high school reforms would require students to take more state tests and gain more credits before graduating.
“It’s an excellent idea for some state legislators to feel the superintendents’ pain,” said David W. Steinlauf, D-2, of the proposed meeting. “It’s a positive step and should heighten the awareness of the legislators, and it’s good to hear from legislators what is on the horizon.”
When asked what is coming on the horizon, Steinlauf said, “Well that’s hard to say. It’s going to get harder.”
James Tinley can be reached at jtinley@nhregister.com or 401-3530.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amann did very little to help Milford in its need for more education money - but I am positive he will make sure he gets his yellow brick road and granite curbs, fountains, light posts and plantings in Devon before he leaves Hartford.
Doesn't he own property in Devon Center?

May 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

Amann is the only Rep. that got us money for the VoAg Education program. The rest of out Reps. and Senator are deadwood. Worse than that, they are fungus on deadwood.

May 7, 2008 at 6:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we should add Amann to the dead wood list. He only added benefit to himself and his bid for Gov. I can tell you, he is a HUGE joke in Hartford and through out the state. By the way, where are we with the projects for the parking garage and improvements to the Gov't center - he probably left Milford in the tanker for these as well. Not to his benefit.

Just read today Coswell Cove is up in arms about "The Point" He lives there - correct? I have asked for the same consideration where I live ( and I am sure I pay far more in Taxes than he does) and it has fallen on deaf ears (Thank you Mr Mayor)- but... Amann lives in Coswell Cove and guess what -- big deal - gates and closure to Town property. Fishermnan hit the water around 4:30 AM - but maybe not - he needs the big Snore!

May 7, 2008 at 12:15 PM 

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