WEATHERSFIELD SCHOOLS Superintendent urges support of levy issue

Levy committee volunteers are being encouraged to come forward.
MINERAL RIDGE -- "Let's put our bickering aside so we can move forward -- not backward -- forward," Weathersfield schools Superintendent Michael Hanshaw urged about 40 parents attending a school board meeting.
Hanshaw also urged district residents to join the committee working to pass the 5.5-mill, five-year emergency levy that will appear again on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The levy issue, the fourth requested by the board since May 2003, would generate $538,168 a year. The issue is the same amount sought unsuccessfully by the board in a special election Aug. 3.
"You can't pass a levy with only 10 people on a committee," Hanshaw said.
The levy committee, which will again be headed by Cheryl Bassista, will meet at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in the high school library.
Busing issue
Hanshaw and board president Dr. Douglas Darnall said after Wednesday's board meeting that there is no promise from the board in resolution form for this levy request to restore busing if the issue passes. The board had made that promise in the August issue.
Although board member Fred McCandless said during the business meeting he wanted to put the restoration of busing for kindergarten through eighth grade back on the ballot, the motion was never made.
Hanshaw did say that the board is working on trying to restore busing to the Trumbull County Career and Technical Center, but said it is an issue that has to be negotiated with the district's nonteaching union. Under discussion is a plan to have a supervisor drive the bus to the school.
Darnall said that even if the levy passes, nine teaching jobs would be lost through attrition. There will also be a reduction in the number of elective classes at the high school and an increase in class size from 19 to 25 or 26 in some classes at the middle school and Seaborn Elementary School, he said.
Hanshaw noted that if this levy fails, another levy would be put back on the ballot by state order.

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