Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study

Despite all the fiscal and other challenges paralyzing Connecticut, there is an opportunity in the 2017 legislative session to take the first real step toward comprehensive, rational and constitutional education funding reform. That first step is authorizing an education adequacy cost study be conducted in our state as called for in Substitute House Bill 7270.

‘Furious’ about ‘gross inequities’ in education cost sharing plan

To the chairmen of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee:
I am furious that your committee would even consider the education funding package that thankfully melted down last Tuesday. I am furious that the proposal perpetuates rather than corrects the gross inequities in ECS funding that have existed for at least the past four years. …

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‘All in’- Equitable funding for all Connecticut schools

Posted on a wall in my second-grade classroom is a motivational poster that states, “We’re all in this together!” These five powerful words remind my second-grade students the importance of unity, perseverance, and teamwork. This simple catch phrase empowers them to tackle any challenges that they face. It reinforces that they are supported by the adults in their lives and their peers in the classroom. As my students tackle the challenges of the current school year, this mindset affords them the opportunity to be “all in” and invested in their own learning.

New school funding essential to giving some students a voice

Our state’s funding formula, which was intended to equalize education funding in each district, is irrational and disservices students in our neediest communities. We’ve used an arbitrary baseline for funding and have employed insufficient calculations for poverty and special education. A true school funding fix must include measures that hold all districts accountable so that educators can purposefully and efficiently use state money to advance student achievement and growth.

Lawmakers must correct irrational school funding system

Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed massive changes in education funding and the legislature is beginning to work on his proposals. While it is extremely unlikely that the governor’s radical proposals will be adopted, the legislature needs to correct the irrational funding system that now exists. Sixty witnesses testified at the Education Committee’s recent hearing on the subject.

A rallying cry for equitable education funding in Connecticut

E4E-Connecticut’s teacher members — who collectively decided to take on the issue of funding reform — are urging state leaders to give serious consideration to the fair and equitable appropriation to our neediest districts while supporting our wealthier districts through this transition, and place our state on the path to repairing this funding system that leaves too many low-income and disadvantaged communities behind.

The state should fund public schools and public charter schools equitably

As a former Hartford public school student, as a father, and as a school leader, I have seen up close the potential of all Hartford kids. We recognize that potential in telling them that if they work hard, they can achieve on par with students from anywhere in our state, country and world. Funding our students equally is a necessary step as we push for the equity our kids deserve.

Malloy’s school funding plan does not go far enough

For more than two centuries, Connecticut has been colloquially known as “The Land of Steady Habits.” But our state’s tradition of arbitrarily, illogically, and inequitably funding its public schools is a bad habit Connecticut desperately needs to break. Unfortunately, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent budget proposal does not go far enough to address the fundamental flaws of Connecticut’s school finance system. Instead, the proposal continues the decades-old bad habit of funding education through a maze of unconnected, arbitrary formulas and does not ensure that all of Connecticut’s schools and districts have the resources they need to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities for all of our state’s more than 500,000 students. Malloy’s proposal rightfully ends the funding of local public school districts via block grants based on little more than historical precedent and the political power of legislators by proposing the state use a formula to distribute the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant to towns.

Charter schools pose financial risk to municipalities

In December of last year, the Connecticut Department of Education issued a request for proposals for new charter schools – the first time in nearly three years. As the state grapples with a budget disaster and Gov. Dannel Malloy continues to propose changes that would dramatically change the way Connecticut pays for education, the state should refrain from opening any new charter schools and freeze the funding of existing ones.

The General Assembly needs facts, not falsehoods

A recent story in the CT Mirror described a presentation to reporters a few weeks ago by the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), the largest teachers’ union, in which union leaders attempted to expose the spending practices of charter schools. The problem is that the report the CEA was referencing was deliberately misleading –seeking to villainize charter schools during a tight budget year in which education funding will be a key issue.

Six design principles for a new, fair CT school funding formula

Connecticut’s K-12 public school funding system is fundamentally broken. That is the simple and unfortunate truth that boards of education, superintendents, principals, teachers, and education reform advocates have known for years. Lacking a fair funding formula we are shortchanging our communities, and most importantly our children who deserve access to a quality public education.