Mar 23, 2015 8:28 PM

Concord School District budget cuts could cost kids their ride to school

CONCORD - Special education in Concord is in danger of losing resources as the School Board looks to cut about $1 million from the budget. There is a proposal to eliminate the substitute paraprofessional positions. Elizabeth Mexcur is an educational assistant at Rundlett Middle School, she says they need the subs and suggests they hire a full-time person for the position.

"The children who would regularly have us would not have us and so then they don't get that first smile, they may not know who they're going to be with or if they're with anybody at all for the day," Rundlett said.

Other children may no longer have a ride to school, as the district considers increasing the one-mile walk zone to a mile and a half. Many at Monday's public hearing, including mother and paraprofessional Sara Stuart took issue with the measure, mostly during the winter months.

"It definitely wasn't safe for them to be walking anytime this winter at all, and if you don't have a car what are you going to do?" Stuart said.

Also on the potential chopping block is the districts use of the Capitol Center for the Arts for performances which costs around ten thousand dollars a year.

"Just feeling like they're famous and when they're at the Capitol Center for the Arts that's what they feel like. I know it firsthand because my son came home and I could tell," Stuart said.

School Board president Clint Cogswell says the one area they won't touch is class size.

"That's about 80 percent of our budget. So when you keep the class size and you keep the staff, you have to go to these other issues," Cogswell said.

Another public hearing will be held Wednesday evening at Mill Brook School.

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