A look at the effects of East Lyme’s budget cut
By Genavieve Ogren
When hearing about budget cuts, most people think about what programs are being hacked first such as the arts or sports. Thankfully, as of now with this year’s budget cut, East Lyme should not be experiencing any programs being cut.
East Lyme had approximately a $545,000 budget cut for the 2017-2018 school year out of the $4.6 million that they usually receive. This came from the Education Cost Sharing Grant that comes from the state every year.
Although East Lyme is still in the process of submitting the budget, Superintendent Jeffrey Newton has high hopes that no students will be impacted by this year’s budget cut, and Susi shares his optimism.
“We hope that we will not see, as we move forward in years, additional cuts,” said Mr. Newton.
The main priorities to the schools are the students and the teachers according to Mr. Susi. The school system is looking more at classroom supplies and maintenance rather than arts and sports programs in order to make sure no teachers or students will be impacted.
“I will get rid of every textbook, pencil, paper, if I have to [to keep teachers jobs],” expressed Principal of East Lyme High School Michael Susi.
These cuts however, have been to the detriment of the district’s plan to transition to one-to-one devices. Back in September, there was much talk about prepping the school for the integration of the one-to-one devices for students. It made sense, especially due to the fact that the middle school already made the switch. But there is another underlying factor that has been overshadowed.
“We simply don’t have the infrastructure at this time to make the switch to one-to-one devices,” said Mr. Susi. “How long do the computers and laptops take to fully log on now? Now imagine how slow the network would be with an additional few hundred computers.”
East Lyme schools are not the only ones being affected by the budget cuts. Most of the other towns in Connecticut are being affected by budget cuts this year. Although some towns are having little to none cut, others are being greatly impacted by Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget cuts. Ledyard has approximately a $1.5 million budget cut and has had two furlough days (teachers are being placed into a temporary non-duty, non-pay status) to help come up with the money. Montville and Groton are two other schools suffering from high budget cuts.