Controversial proposals would merge school systems

Posted: Updated:
HARTFORD -

Two proposals would merge some school districts together in Connecticut, lawmakers say.  

Western Connecticut is home to dozens of small school systems.

One of the proposals, from state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), would force districts with fewer than 2,000 students to merge, affecting towns like Woodbridge and Litchfield.  

MORE: Wilton petition against proposal

A competing plan from New Haven Democrat Sen. Martin Looney would go much further, forcing any town with fewer than 40,000 students to consolidate into regional school systems. Some districts have already done that, at least for high schools.

The proposal would force towns like Wilton to merge with nearby districts.

About 1,700 town residents have already signed an online petition fighting the proposals since Friday.

The petition claims the proposal would have an impact on property values and schools. 

"The school system is one reason why people move here," says Elyse Dickinson, of Wilton. "So I think it would have a negative impact to Wilton."

A task force of educators suggested the idea to Gov. Ned Lamont as a way to save money.

However, some Fairfield County Democratic lawmakers say they can't support the proposal.

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