Top Stories of 2017: State budget crisis hits Groton

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed a state budget last February that recommended a $14.17 million cut in municipal aid to Groton, a proposal that led to significant economic and political fallout. The proposal would have cut Groton by the largest dollar amount of any municipality in the state, and though it was ultimately scrapped, the threat of millions in losses in state aid led to decisions that affected the schools and the town as a whole.

The Town Council assumed a $5 million loss in state education funding, which drove it to initially propose a $5.2 million cut from the Board of Education’s budget request for education spending. Councilors then restored some of the funding, but the Board of Education closed Pleasant Valley Elementary School, redistributing 300 students. Voters criticized the council's handling of the crisis and other issues in the local municipal election. Democrats swept the Town Council, winning all nine seats and ousting seven incumbents. Groton voters also elected all three Democrats, who ran for the four seats on the Board of Education, and every Democrat but one who ran for Representative Town Meeting.

— Deborah Straszheim

www.theday.com/2017review 

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