Earlier this year, we shared with you our goals to advance great schools for all by championing common-sense policy change during the 2018 legislative session. Now that session is about halfway done, here’s how our work is progressing around each of our priorities:

Recruit Great Teachers and Leaders

Students deserves access to the best teachers and administrators possible, in every neighborhood across the state; and diverse, highly-qualified educators deserve a clear path to the classrooms where they can change students’ lives.

Pastors Hernandez, Gomez and Lopez of the NHCLC support SB 455 before the Education Committee.

This session, we’re standing in strong support of Senate Bill 455 in our push to streamline certification requirements for teachers and school leaders of color and create flexible pathways to ensure high-quality educators have the opportunity to impact our kids’ lives.

Last week, the Education Committee voted unanimously to send SB 455 to the Senate Floor–and hopefully it’s headed to the House Floor next. If passed, the bill would take important steps toward helping schools recruit and retain diverse teachers and school leaders. You can read our full statement on the bill here–and we’ll keep you posted on where it goes from here.

Improve Access to High Quality Schools and Fund Students Fairly

No two kids are alike, so their education shouldn’t be, either. Every Connecticut student deserves the opportunity to access to a world-class education, regardless of their zip code.

This session, we’re continuing to fight for fair funding for all students based on their learning needs, no matter what kind of public school they attend. We continue to push to end Connecticut’s tangled and outdated web of school funding and replace it with one formula that funds all kids fairly across all public schools.

Every Connecticut student deserves the opportunity to access to a world-class education, regardless of their zip code.

So far, we’ve successfully defeated a bill that would have siphoned millions of dollars away from current students in public charter schools, in turn protecting the funds for these learning environments that had already been included in the bi-partisan 2019 budget. Unfortunately, this bill was a symptom of Connecticut’s broken funding system, which perpetuates 11 different ways of funding kids and fails to invest fairly in our kids based on the reality of their lives rather than the learning model that works best for them.

Prepare Students for Success in College and Careers

Right now, far too many students, especially students of color, are graduating from high school unprepared for college and career. This hurts students and our state’s economy.

This session, we’re demanding that families and community members get access to clear, user-friendly data on how well students are being prepared for college and career and pushing for the state to release an annual report on the education and skill levels required for the fastest growing jobs in our state. This information can be used to help families and policymakers make better decisions about our future.

Our efforts haven’t yet resulted in strong legislative language to move forward–but there’s still time. We’re keeping our eyes on a few bills that could bring this vision closer to reality, and we’ll make sure you know the latest.

With six weeks remaining for Connecticut policymakers to make real, measurable change for our kids, we need you to keep the momentum and to let our elected officials know that equity, options and accessibility matter. Stay tuned for updates, and for opportunities to advocate for Connecticut kids.

We insisted then, as we do now, that no effective state leader can put forward a plan for a strong Connecticut that doesn’t center on improving our education system.

Even as we work towards progress for kids this legislative session, we’re also keeping our sights set on what lies ahead:  the chance to elect a new Governor. It’s been eight years since ConnCAN ran our Vote for Ed campaign. We insisted then, as we do now, that no effective state leader can put forward a plan for a strong Connecticut that doesn’t center on improving our education system. That truth remains, and we hope you’ll join us as we move forward.

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