Parents Oppose School Choice

By Kate Anslinger

Residents came out in force at Monday night’s School Committee meeting to voice their opinions on the school choice program.

The program, which was established in the district several years ago, offers students from outside communities an opportunity to enroll in the Winthrop school district. While the program offers valuable diversity for current students and has given outside students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the educational environment that may be more fitting for them, the current budget struggle.

Superintendent of School John Macero said right now there are 13 school choice students and they have space for 40.

There is also the fact that not a single one of the surrounding communities is participating in the program.

“It’s not a time where we can accommodate students from outside of the community,” said Carolyn Gagnon, resident and mother of two students in the district. “It’s fiscally irresponsible. The school gets $5,000 per each student who comes in through the program, however; the cost to take in the student is not justified. If we can’t take on our own students first, we shouldn’t take on other students.”

“There have been great points made. I have worked with the community to build the new school and I think a lot of our students who have the district to go to other schools will come back,” said Macero, who supports the decision move away from the school choice program.

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