ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Concerned residents are expressing their feelings today, one day after the city announced their budget for next year. Despite a $1 million increase in funding to schools, the Board of Education says there isn’t enough money to sustain operations as they are now.
Superintendent Carol Merlone said cuts would have to be made and earlier in the week had said that would include sports programs.
“They probably can come up with some other ways. You know, not cut sports or anything to do with the kids cause what else are they gonna do?” said Carol, a concerned parent in Ansonia.
“Sports are very important to keep kids out of trouble. You know, makes them feel good about themselves and it really would be a shame,” said resident Chris Primrose.
The city approved a 3.35 percent increase for education next year. The school board had asked for 4 percent.
“Maybe they need to take a month’s pay cut instead of trying to cut everything else,” said Carol.
At the budget announcement Tuesday night, dozens of people urged the Board of Aldermen to give more funding to the Board of Ed, siting possible layoffs and even the elimination of the city’s sports program. That’s an idea many say will have major impacts on the city’s kids.
“Obesity is running rampant in the young children of our generation this age. You know, keeping them active and giving them an option to be able to do things. Also, the social skills that are involved with it, being a part of the team,” said former Ansonia resident Steve Tarnoczy.
Ansonia’s football team has won 18 state titles, more than any other school in the state. They also had an incredible run of 48 consecutive wins between 2011 and 2014.
“It would be a sham, obviously. It is a big part of the valley, competition. They’ve always been good,” said Primrose.
For now, the budget stands at $31 million for the school board. Exactly what will get cut remains to be seen.