Springfield schools need funding for popular program

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A lack of funding could spell the end to a popular program in the Springfield school district.

Parents, Teachers and students packed into the Springfield Central High School Library Friday night, in hopes of saving the Parent Teacher Home Visit Program. These visits enable teachers to get better understanding of their students’ home lives, something many parents support.

“There’s never been a parent that didn’t want a teacher to come to their home and sit with them and have a cup of tea and see their environment, meet the family members and get to know all the stresses the strains, the positive.” Said Laraine Shore-Suslowitz Vice President of Pioneer Valley Project.

In the past, the school district relied on grants, but with no grant money this year, The Pioneer Valley Project needs $200,000 to fund home visits next year, less than one percent of the system’s 400 million dollar budget.

This program has been going in Springfield since 2006, it’s the second in the country behind Sacramento California.

Home Visits started at the Duggan Middle School and has since spread to five Springfield school. Parents, teachers and even students all said it’s very positive on several levels.

“It shows the kids that we care, and it shows the community that we’re willing to take action in helping this community change” said Anthony Danenza of Springfield.

Springfield School committee members are expected to vote on the proposed budget June 11th.

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