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Greenwich Board Of Ed To Vote On Racial Balance Issue

The Greenwich Board of Education will vote on what action to take on the district's racial imbalance issue at Thursday evening's meeting, the board's last of the school year.
The Greenwich Board of Education will vote on what action to take on the district's racial imbalance issue at Thursday evening's meeting, the board's last of the school year. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron, File

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The Greenwich Board of Education will vote Thursday on how to proceed with the district's racial imbalance issue at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon elementary schools.

The vote will be taken at the board's final meeting of the school year in the Greenwich High School auditorium, starting at 7 p.m.

A public hearing with a one-hour time limit is included in the meeting agenda . If more than one hour is required, members of the public will be allowed to speak at the end of the meeting.

One plan that is being discussed -- and has stirred controversy -- is the proposal to redistrict all 11 of Greenwich's elementary and middle schools.

According to a report prepared by the Greenwich school district , approximately $10 million in educational funding could be withheld from the town and teachers  and administrators could have their certifications withheld if the racial imbalance issue is not resolved.

Both Hamilton and New Lebanon currently have a student enrollment that includes more than 50-percent non-white students.

In addition to the racial imbalance in those two schools, the redistricting is aimed to fix a "facilities utilization" issue in which some Greenwich schools, like New Lebanon are overcrowded,  while others, like Parkway School, are running well below capacity.

But nearly 650 Greenwich parents have signed a petition as of Wednesday opposing the redistricting of the schools without the input of residents or, perhaps, a town vote.

Nine different documents detailing the ongoing racial imbalance and facilities utilization in the district are provided on the Greenwich Public Schools website .

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