City not fulfilling obligations, Hooksett School Board warns
In Candia, anger over Manchester school overcrowding
HOOKSETT — The school district has given notice to Manchester officials warning “it appears Manchester is not meeting its obligations” under the 20-year contract for educating Hooksett students at city high schools.
But the letter falls short of the formal notice needed to start the clock toward Hooksett’s withdrawal from the district.
In a letter to Mayor Ted Gatsas, aldermen and Board of School Committee members Dana Argo, chairman of the Hooksett School Board, said Hooksett “is exploring all legal options and remedies” including “possible early termination of the agreement.”
A sending district that wants to get out of the contract due to a violation of its terms must include a termination date in a formal “notice of breach.” Argo’s letter does not specify a termination date.
In the letter, Argo said that “Manchester is not providing the necessary facilities, equipment, supplies, textbooks or teachers that are required.”
The notice said, “It has been reported that some students do not have a desk or a seat in these overcrowded classrooms, and some students do not have textbooks.”
The high school agreement allows Hooksett, Candia and Auburn to terminate the contract if Manchester fails to follow state standards on class sizes and other educational issues.
Argo’s letter states that overcrowding in the schools puts their accreditation at risk. Loss of accreditation is also grounds for voiding the contract.
The agreement gives Manchester 180 days after receiving formal notice of termination to fix things.
Some Hooksett School Board members want to hold off on formal termination notice until Oct. 1, when school enrollment data must be certified to the state.
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Bill Smith may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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