Contact Us
Danbury Daily Voice serves Danbury, CT
Return to your home site

Menu

Danbury Daily Voice serves Danbury, CT

Nearby Towns

schools

Danbury Schools Face Challenges Of More Students, More Requirements

At a meeting at the Magnet school in Danbury on Thursday, Mayor Mark Boughton, as well as several community leaders, spoke of the challenges facing the Danbury Public School system. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
About 40 people attended the Danbury Public Schools Funding meeting Thursday morning at the Western CT Academy of International Studies in Danbury. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
In a PowerPoint presentation, Katie Roy, founder of the Connecticut School Finance Group, said it costs the Danbury school district $12,728 to educate each child. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Many people showed up for the Danbury Public Schools Funding meeting on Thursday. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Jessica Stram, a lobbyist for the City of Danbury who is employed with the Hartford firm Sullivan and LeShane, said if the city wants to see results, it must take action. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
On the topic of graduation requirements, incoming Danbury High School principal Dan Donovan said while DHS students now need 21 credits to graduate, this number might be increasing to 25 credits. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

DANBURY, Conn. -- Members of the community gathered Thursday to discuss the many challenges facing the Danbury Public School system in the coming year and to hear from the city's leaders, including Mayor Mark Boughton.

About 40 people attended the Danbury Public Schools Funding meeting held at the Western Connecticut Academy of International Studies.

Challenges include the continued growth of student enrollment across all grade levels, the growing list of high school graduation requirements and the increased number of English language learners, low-income students and special education students in the Danbury schools.

"At the local level, we're all on the same team. We all want the same things for our kids.This is about out children and protecting their education going forward," Boughton said of meeting those challenges.

In a PowerPoint presentation, Katie Roy, founder of the Connecticut School Finance Project, said it costs the Danbury school district $12,728 to educate each child.

Roy said Danbury should receive more state funds to support its schools. She said funding is often determined by what a school district has received in the past -- as well as what type of school it is, where it is located and what political power it has.

Danbury receives about $3,000 in education funding per student from the State of Connecticut, she said. But cities with similar school districts receive significantly more. Roy said that Danbury receives relatively little state funding based upon the needs of its students.

On the topic of graduation requirements, incoming Danbury High School Principal Dan Donovan said while students now need 21 credits to graduate, this number might be increasing to 25 credits.

He said students are capable of earning that number of credits, but many don't have the time because they are forced to hold jobs and contribute to their family's incomes.

In addition, Donovan said that in order for each child to meet the 25-credit requirement, within the next four years, Danbury High would have to hire 20-plus teachers. "This is a huge impact in this community," he said.

Emanuela Palmares, editor and partner of the Tribuna newspaper, spoke about ways to include the Latino community in the conversation.

"We need to go to them. Go to where they are and present to them in their language," she said. A meeting held on a weekday morning at the Magnet School is not likely to draw many people from the Latino community, she said.

Jessica Stram, a lobbyist for Danbury who is employed with the Hartford firm of Sullivan and LeShane, said that if the city wants to see results, it must take action. Ways to speak up include testifying at public hearings, regularly communicating with state representatives -- and if all else fails, starting a rally, she said.

"Danbury needs to tell its story. Parents, teachers and students should put a human face to the story," Stram said. "Unless this community speaks for itself, no one will speak for it."

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Danbury Daily Voice!

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Danbury Daily Voice!

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.