There is no question that Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed $100 billion transportation plan for our state is, as he puts it, “bold.” The question is, is it achievable? The problem is that the governor’s plan isn’t a plan. It’s a wish list, with something for everyone in the state. Nobody has vetted the various projects to say what makes sense and what doesn’t. Nor has the governor offered any ideas on how to pay for them.
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and the Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced the first round of winners in the Smart Start initiative. And while they acknowledged that many school districts opted not to apply, they fail to acknowledge the glaring truth about the reason, i.e. this is a bad initiative and a bad prescription for universal preschool in Connecticut. And if Smart Start proponents continue to advance this initiative, the towns not selected will not be the only losers in this equation. Children
Smart Start proponents are advancing the idea that access to preschool education in the public schools with a certified bachelor degree teacher is the fix to the largest achievement gap in the US, while ignoring that every teacher in Connecticut’s K-12 system, where the gap exists, is certified with advanced degrees themselves.
The quiet death in committee of the so-called aid-in-dying bill is another instance of legislator’s ducking their responsibility to vote on and make their positions known on controversial issues. The “Too Difficult” sign is simply constraining our policy choices, locking us in a system that is not working.
How will it be possible to reform the state’s pension system when the people who are supposed to be representing the public share in all the benefits they confer on the unions? A first step would be to freeze benefits for all participants in the plans who are not covered by union contracts, and offer them 401k-type defined contribution plans for future service.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget charges the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) with achieving $90 million in savings through a reduction in provider rates. A conservative estimate of the impact of reducing dental fees by 5.6 percent indicates that 24,000 fewer HUSKY-insured young people under 21 years of age would have access to a dental visit in each of the next two fiscal years.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has done a lot to prevent fatal overdoses, but more can be done. He has recently proposed a bill that will make Narcan more widely available by allowing pharmacists to prescribe it to Connecticut families, first responders and the treatment community directly from pharmacies. It should be adopted.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s upcoming budget proposal, and the General Assembly’s actions that follow, will either move us forward toward continuing to improve public education or act as an impediment to building upon the progress we’ve made in recent years.
ByDrs. Andrew Lustbader, Brian Keyes and Sandra Carbonari |
Connecticut’s governor and legislators must act now to resolve the crisis in children’s mental health care. Funding cuts of more than $179 million by the state are undermining all aspects of the mental health care of our children and youth.
Early childhood education, in the form of a preschool or pre-kindergarten program, is one of the key building blocks for a successful progression for students through the educational system, and developing into successful adults within their chosen career path. While not essential, it does provide many key stepping stones, including often times a child’s first interaction with peers, a gradual transition into a classroom setting, a fundamental understanding of rules and order, and lastly and most importantly, many of the key educational concepts.