Community leaders speak out against proposal to keep Batchelder Elementary School open

HARTFORD --  A group of community leaders are speaking out against the proposal to keep Batchelder Elementary School open.

Batchelder is one the schools to close under the effort to consolidate Hartford Public Schools at the end of this school year.

“These decisions were painful for members of our community because it meant losing what was part of a tradition. However, what is easy is not always what is right,” said Trevor Beauford of Union Baptist Church.

That’s why Beauford, along with other community leaders, said the plan should be left alone.

Earlier this year, the school board voted to consolidate resources with plans to eventually close three schools in the process. However, the decision did not come without a fight from parents of students who currently attend Batchelder along with community members.

Once closed, the Batchelder building is set to house Montessori Magnet School. Batchelder students will then have the option to either apply to the magnet school or attend other neighboring schools.

Connecticut Senator John Fonfara is proposing to house both and keep Batchelder open through Senate Bill 12. During a press conference, the community leaders said keeping the doors open will be going against what the school board already decided.

“If it doesn’t happen then we are back to where we were with a declining enrollment, declining dollars and a declining spirit in this town around education,” Reverend Steven Camp of Faith Congregational Church said.