BOSTON (WWLP) - New legislation proposes to withdraw Worthington from the Gateway Regional School District, but local selectmen say it will be financially devastating for neighboring towns.
John Baldasaro, who sits on the Board of Selectmen in Chester, told state lawmakers that his town's school budget would increase by $150,000 if Worthington left the district.
Worthington pays over one million dollars to the school district based on income levels, which is more than what other towns have to pay.
However, in 2010, R.H. Conwell Elementary School was shut down in Worthington, forcing parents to drive up to an hour to send their kids to school in neighboring towns.
Eliza Lake of Worthington told 22News, “It means parents are driving to those schools and there isn't that sense of commitment to the local school system that you know is such an important part of communities.”
According to Selectmen Baldasaro, “It would put us in the type of situation where we would be forced to file bankruptcy because we'd no longer be able to meet our statutory obligations based on our tax revenue.”
Gateway towns hope to strike a deal with Worthington to restore their elementary school and get them to stay.
Earlier this year, Worthington approved a plan to withdraw from the school district, but couldn't do it without the unanimous approval of all six other Gateway towns.