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Updated: Phase II Defeated By Wide Margin

Voters Reject School Construction Plan, Support Thames Street

Voters overwhelmingly defeated the proposed school construction plan, with 1,437 in favor and 4,184 against. The Thames Street reconstruction plan was approved, by a vote of 3,334 to 2,306.

Voters cast ballots today on the proposed $133 million school construction plan called "Phase II" and on the $6.4 million plan to rebuild Thames Street.

The school construction project relied on state subsidies and an anticipated 66 percent reimbursement rate, which would have reduced the total cost of the project to $65.8 million.

Jim May 03, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Now not only do I have to pay extra to use the beach at Eastern Point, but I can pay for the repairs to Groton City streets too!
GlpGeorge May 03, 2011 at 05:48 AM
As in the past with Phase I, I would bet the Town Council, BOE, and RTM go back to the drawing board, cut a few things out of the Phase II plan and have another referendum. From what I understand, the state grant won't be lost unless we start construction by sometime in 2012. I'm all for Full day pre-school and kindergarten, but new buildings alone, with all other factors held constant, will not improve the education. Lean it up a bit and try again. But the tax increase on my over-assessed property was too much to bear, and spending money in order to save money never seems to work out inan uncontrolled climate.
mystmom May 03, 2011 at 10:39 AM
Not only will this cost us more money in the long term, the children of Groton continue going to unsafe schools. The oldest schools have no sprinklers, hallways will need to be used for special instruction, students and staff will continue to live with sick "air" and, we set ourselves up for potential ADA lawsuits. It's only a matter of time before a tragedy happens...
medea May 03, 2011 at 06:59 PM
I am so happy and relieved NOT to have my children going (one day) to a one-stop-shop middle school. The site alone was awful. I can't imagine having to drive to drop off and p/u everyday there. And why does the school have to be built just across the street from low income?? No. I want my children to go to a small community school, making friends in their own community. Besides, you can push all the Groton Town and city kids into one school, but the same old tenured teachers will go too. The education is still controlled by each teacher in the individual classrooms. Get rid of tenure: have every teacher undergo a performance evaluation every year, just like every professional, and then skim off the fat and keep the most brilliant, caring, nurturing, firm, and affirming and talented and engaged teachers. In the meantime, fix the physical buildings. We're dragging the bad apples year after year, & $pending more time, effort, & dollars over-compensating the unengaged, careless, & painfully ineffective teachers. There is long term cost of tenure. One giant collossal school? And who would this serve? Glad Groton residents as a whole have their priorities. I would love to see, published, the demographics of the "Yes" voters, as well as their affliation to teachers, administrators, and the Construction community at large for which there would be much work to milk for the next 5 years. Whew! Thank you Groton Residents. We dodged that bullet!
B-Mom May 03, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Teachers do undergo yearly evaluations and growth plans = just like every professional. Ask a teacher, they will tell you! Don't buy the false propaganda that once tenured, never fired. Adminstrators need to do their job of properly writing evaluations. Tenure means due process - so teachers can't be targeted because of personality conflicts. Some of the most brilliant teachers can be those with the most experience. Those were the teachers I learned the most from not someone who reads from the script and teaches to the test (that's how the new teachers are coming out of college from what I have seen in my children's classrooms.) There is a curriculum in this town and state that must be followed. As for your statement of why across from low income - Wow - that's pretty prejudice. It shouldn't matter - it is supposed to be about the learning, not the address! IF you must pick up your children on a daily basis, you could put your blinders on and return to your neighborhood. We don't need you in ours. Now that this grandious plan has failed, it is time to get a real Phase 2 plan in place and truly educate the consitituents about what is in it. Put the facts in a neutral location so people can read them without the spin.

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