Westport Board of Education to meet tonight to discuss proposed cuts to 2018 school budget

The Westport Board of Education held a public meeting Monday to discuss proposed cuts to the 2018 school budget.

The town's Board of Finance recently proposed $1.7 million in cuts to the budget put forward by Superintendent Colleen Palmer.

It comes after Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed a range of spending cuts to help tackle the state's billion-dollar deficit.

Cuts for the town schools would include a reduction in certain staff members and programs, such as freshman sports and individual music lessons.

Robert Harrington, a parent, started a petition asking the Board of Finance to restore $1.2 million to the budget. Those looking to sign the petition can click here.

"We hope that by standing together as a community, we can send a positive message to the Board of Finance and Board of Education," says Harrington. "We thank them for everything they've done. But please, please, please stick behind our schools and make sure that education is the number one priority."

Parents and students met Sunday to raise awareness.

The Board of Finance says that they are being faced with the possibility of losing payments from the state and need to set aside funding to pay for teacher pension costs. They say other affluent towns like Darien and Fairfield could also experience a similar situation.

The Board of Finance says despite the proposed budget cuts, next year's budget has still increased by 1 percent.

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