Borough applies for additional education funds


The Board of Education applied Friday for more than $635,000 in additional state funding. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education applied Friday for more than $635,000 in additional state funding toward 10 initiatives to improve student performance.

The board is requesting the maximum allocation for borough schools under Gov. Dannel Malloy’s “Alliance District” program, which allows additional Education Cost Sharing funding for the 30 lowest-performing districts in the state. Participating districts must submit a plan that shows how they will spend the money to better educate students and train staff.

The school board’s plan includes some initiatives already in place, such as participation in the Area Cooperative Educational Services consortium to standardize curricula and graduation requirements statewide, and the Discovery preschool support program.

State money could be used for busing costs to expand the extended day learning program, which some students cannot participate in because they lack transportation, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Brigitte Crispino said.

The school board had already budgeted money for more elementary school counselors and computer literacy teachers, which Alliance District funding could pay for, Crispino said.

The money could also pay for training and development related to the new statewide teacher evaluation system that some districts, including the borough’s school system, are piloting, Crispino said.

Administrators also want to use some money to start a leadership program among teachers. After three years in borough schools, teachers would be able to intern in an administrative role, Crispino said. State money could pay for teachers to replace the interns in the classroom, Crispino said.

“It’s to grow your own within the district,” Crispino said.

The additional state money would pay for part, but not all, of the new or expanded programs administrators are proposing, Crispino said.

Funds allocated from the borough and from other grants would make up the difference, she said.

The school board is submitting its application on the earliest date possible, Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson said. That allows the state to reply and work with administrators if some of the application does not meet the state’s criteria, Crispino said.

Crispino said the state was guaranteeing at least the same level of funding for five years.

“Even if our scores improve dramatically, we’ll still have that designation,” she said.