Manchester Funds School Upgrades As It Fights Hooksett Exodus

May 8, 2013

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved two bonds totaling $5.8 million dollars to fund technology, security and energy efficiency upgrades in the schools. This comes as the district tries to keep Hooksett students from withdrawing.

While the $3 million energy bond had broad support, the $2.5 million technology bond, for new computers, tablets and WiFi, proved contentious. Some aldermen like Joyce Craig argued that the money should go towards hiring new teachers instead. But in the end she voted for it.

“So it’s a good thing but on the same side we’re still short on teachers. And it’s my personal opinion that a teacher in a classroom is much better than a computer in a classroom, so that’s where my struggle was.”

Outdated computers are one of the reasons a group of parents from Hooksett want to pull their kids out of Manchester schools.

On Wednesday, Manchester filed a request for an injunction against the Hooksett School District to keep them from allowing parents to withdraw their kids. Hooksett has exempted about 70 middle-schoolers from attending a Manchester high school in the fall. Manchester’s legal team argues that Hooksett isn’t fully vetting requests as their contract requires but is exercising a policy of blanket approval. The Hooksett School Board says it’s in compliance.