Two years ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and our state legislators made a promise to our state’s kids when they passed the most sweeping education improvement bill in recent history. Thankfully, that promise was kept this month, after our state leaders passed a budget that would continue progress towards providing high-quality schools and grant access to hundreds of students.
In a difficult budget year, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) applauds Gov. Malloy and the General Assembly for approving a state budget that takes important steps to improve education by investing in key areas such as early childhood education, increasing access to high-quality school options and turning around Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools.
The funding outlined in this budget will open new opportunities for the 40,000 students in Connecticut who are currently attending chronically underperforming schools and the thousands of families who are waiting for better educational opportunities for their children.
We thank our elected leaders for listening to voices of so many children and families and ensuring that Connecticut will take the necessary steps towards improving educational equity across our state, especially for students that need it the most.
We must continue to protect Connecticut’s progress on education and work to ensure that all children have access to the high-quality education they need and deserve.
To do so, we need to tackle an underlying issue that surfaced so clearly this session. The fierce debates about school funding that surrounded this budget put a bright light on the need to fix Connecticut’s badly broken funding system.
It is high time for Connecticut to cast aside patchwork, temporary fixes and take a comprehensive look into how we fund all students, across all public schools, be they traditional public, magnet, vocational-tech or charter public schools. We must work together to create an equitable, predictable, sustainable and fair funding system that weaves together all our our public schools and funds them in a manner that best serves each and every student.
Until we can fix our broken school funding system, we will have to continue to see the same fights, year after year, and we will continue to struggle to achieve equity and an excellent public education for all of Connecticut’s children.
We know that a great education can be life changing for so many students. Looking ahead, we must continue to ensure that we have a funding system that puts a great public education within reach of every child. The economic and civic future of our students, our communities and our state, depends on it.
Jennifer Alexander, is CEO of ConnCAN.