Milford Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay spoke with a number of superintendents in school systems surrounding the Connecticut  casinos.  Bob concluded the following:

“High student turnover, increased free and reduced school lunch eligibility, increased drop-out rates and added demands for specialized instructional services seem to be a common theme in every study that I reviewed,”  Tremblay wrote in his report.

Tremblay added another concern, “A school district’s capacity to keep up with population growth is important to the quality of education that students receive. Lack of buildings means overcrowded classrooms and overcrowded classrooms are simply not conducive to quality learning.”[1]

Impact studies from Foxwoods’ consultants predict that 20 students would be added to the entire school population.

Foxwoods’ contribution to the school system is estimated to be $121,000.

The following was an observation by Elaine Bono, a long-time planning commission member from Ledyard, CT.

I witnessed firsthand how casinos take trade away from local businesses and malls. Casinos also put a strain on the pool of available employees in the area. So many employees had to be brought into the area to support the casino, along with their families, that there was a crunch on the affordable housing market, as well as overcrowding of local schools, putting a strain on local school budgets.[1]

The town of Norwich, CT went from 40 English as a Second Language students to 400 in a span of 10 years.

As a Norwich city council candidate recently noted: Our school system is heavily impacted by the transient population shifts caused by our proximity to the casinos. Student turnover last year in k-8 amounted to the equivalent of six full classes.[2]

The town of Norwich, CT has a school budget of $74 million. Norwich educates 5,400 students, which equates to a per pupil expenditure of $13,682 per year.[3]  Milford spends $12,212 per pupil per year.[4]

We think it would be helpful to understand all costs impacting the Norwich school system as a result of housing many casino workers in their town.

[1] Elaine Bono, Ledyard Planning Commission 1985 – 2001.