Finance Board Wants Schools Agreement

The Board of Finance Tuesday night agreed that Chairman Michael Sconyers should write a letter to Botelle Superintendent Mary Beth Iacobelli and Board of Education Chairman Ann DeCerbo requesting that they begin negotiations with Colebrook to establish a cooperative education agreement. Such agreements are legal under State Statute 10-158a.

“We’re going to look into different plans going forward,” said First Selectman Matt Riiska following the meeting. “We have 64 students at Botelle now and next year’s projections are in the upper 50s. Is it advantageous to operate a school with just 56 kids? It’s even more than economics—it’s our job to provide the best education we can to get them ready for Region 7.”

An attempt to actually consolidate the Colebrook and Norfolk schools failed several years ago but Riiska said the statute allows a town to send students to another community on a tuition basis.

“Obviously, the best thing would be a consolidation because we have the facility, but if that doesn’t work, we have to look at other options,” Riiska said, adding that conversations have already started amongst town officials. “But it’s a Board of Education thing,” he concluded. “It’s their call.”

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