On July 19, the unelected, governor-appointed Connecticut State Board of Education approved 504 additional seats in state charter schools for next year, with 154 of those seats going to Capital Preparatory Harbor School in Bridgeport. Go figure: Connecticut is in a budget crisis with every expense being monitored, yet new charter school seats, which cost the state $11,000 each, are being initiated. The cost will be more than $5.5 million.
If Connecticut residents are wondering what Connecticut’s “secret sauce” is to rank us tops in efficient Medicaid spending, it’s a combination of Inadequate and flat Medicaid reimbursement to home health providers, a State Plan Amendment cutting Medicaid behavioral home health nursing rates by 15 percent and other factors — all at the suffering and demise of our Medicaid provider community.
Attending a college is something most of us dream about as teenagers. We look forward to becoming doctors, police officers, artists, nurses, etc. When the time comes to enroll in a college, the last thing on our minds is the price and how much it’ll all cost in the end. All we are excited for is this new journey and becoming young adults.
When I first started college in the fall of 2012 at Central Connecticut State University, financial aid covered my yearly tuition in its entirety. Today, however, five years later, I maxed out of the money I can borrow from financial aid, and now all my stress comes from figuring out how to pay for college.
Have you ever played Jenga, the game where you try to preserve a structure built out of wooden blocks while at the same time you remove pieces one at a time?
If so, you know that there is a limit to how many building blocks you can remove before the whole tower comes tumbling down. Jenga offers an analogy for today’s ongoing efforts to remove pieces from the state budget without crippling state government or the people it serves. The big difference is that the state budget is no game, and what topples are not wooden blocks, but people’s lives.
Imminent state budget cuts means that the hours of staffing that will be lost, the transportation funding that will disappear, the recreation dollars that will not be available, will remove choice and opportunity from the people we serve. These cuts will set our profession back decades in terms of equality, civil rights and equal access for people with intellectual disabilities.