Teacher layoffs looming in Middletown

(WTNH / LaSalle Blanks)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Thanks to the state budget problems in Hartford, these are tough times for many school district superintendents, like Patricia Charles in Middletown.

“I’m in a position right now that no superintendent wants to be in,” Charles said.

Charles may have to lay off as many as eleven teachers because special Alliance District grant money from the state that her district relies on, may not be coming this year because of Connecticut’s budget woes.

That means $2.8 million could be gone from her district and some Middletown teachers and programs could pay the price. The Family Resource Center is one of those programs.

“The Family Resource Center is working with preschool children and their families and helping our kids get off to the best possible start. These are wonderful programs that are really vital to the success of children later on in their school years.”

She is not happy, neither are some parents.

“Our kids are not getting what they need and it just feels like they’re being left behind,” said Yohanna Rodriguez, whose daughter is entering fith grade in the fall.

Middletown is one of about 30 of Connecticut’s poorest school districts that receives extra aid thanks to Alliance District grants created by Governor Malloy. But, the grants could be on the chopping block as state lawmakers look for ways to cut costs to agree on a state budget plan. That means some tough choices that trickle down to the local level and into the offices of Alliance District superintendents.

“This money is critical to us,”said  Superintendent Charles.

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