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Questioned The Necessity Of Magnet School Supervision

The education bureau is considering a variety of measures to cut costs out of district students, including cutting ties with Hartford magnet school program.

Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko is questioning why Torrington public schools need to participate in sending students from Torrington to Hartford and CREC magnet schools. Kloczko presented a letter to the school board’s budget committee Wednesday night detailing the reasons she believes Torrington does not need to send its students to out-of-district magnet schools.

Currently, Torrington is included within the Capital Region Education Council’s territory.

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The letter will be sent to the Connecticut Department of Education.

The closest magnet school is more than 20 miles from Torrington, according to the superintendent, and Torrington public schools already participates in one technical school, Oliver Wolcott Technical High School, and two agriculture science schools, Wamogo in Litchfield and Regional 7 in Winsted.

More than 300 students from Torrington attend Oliver Wolcott and 67 students attend the agriculture science schools, Kloczko said.

According to Kloczko’s letter, funding for out-of-district tuition for this academic year is almost $250,000. That number is three times the cost for magnet school tuition for the 2013-14 school year.

Additionally, the letter reported that students in the Torrington public schools are provided with many after-school and weekend programs.

After looking over the letter, school board members were in support of the superintendent sending the letter.

The majority of students that select to participate in the magnet, technical and agriculture schools are from Torrington’s white population and are considered above the poverty level, something that is adding to racial, ethnic and socioeconomic isolation, Kloczko said. This is a measure magnet school programs try to reduce, according to Kloczko’s letter.

The Torrington Public Schools population is becoming increasingly poor, therefore requiring more funding for intervention measures for homelessness, special education, meal programs, medical services and outreach for special education, according to Kloczko’s letter. If the district is required to continue to pay for magnet school tuition at the current rate of rising costs, Torrington will need to increase class sizes, cut programming and support services and reduce course options, the superintendent concluded.

The cost to transport out-of-district students for the 2013-14 year was about $1.14 million. This year’s cost is projected to be $1.22 million.Source:registercitizen.com

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