Our 2022 legislative goals positioned us to work with policymakers and plot long-term plans that fix Connecticut’s complex education equity problems.  We are excited to share the wins and progress made on behalf of students, families and educators!

Wins for Connecticut students, families and educators

Senate Bill 1 AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDHOOD MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SCHOOLS (OLR analysis)

  • Requires SDE to develop and distribute a survey that school districts must annually complete on the number of school social workers, psychologists, counselors, and nurses they employ; requires the education commissioner to calculate the student-to-worker ratio for each of the four types of professionals and report the survey results and the ratios to the Education and Children’s committees
  • Requires SDE to administer grants for FYs 23 to 25, for school districts to hire and retain more school social workers, psychologists, counselors, and nurses; requires SDE to make recommendations on the program’s renewal beyond FY 25; requires SDE to hire a program administrator
  • Requires SDE to administer a new minority teacher candidate scholarship program; authorizes grants of up to $20,000 a year for high school graduates of priority school districts who are enrolled in a teacher preparation program at any four-year institution of higher education
  • Renames the minority teacher recruitment task force and requires it to conduct a study of existing recruitment and retention programs
  • Creates a teacher shortage and retention task force responsible for reporting on recommendations that address (1) teacher attrition and retention, (2) teacher shortages across subject matter disciplines, and (3) issues relating to equity and diversity

Senate Bill 2 AN ACT EXPANDING PRESCHOOL AND MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN (OLR analysis)

  • Requires DMHAS to make mobile crisis response services available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Establishes a “Social Determinants of Mental Health Fund” and requires the DCF commissioner to use the funds to help families with the costs of mental health services and treatment for their children
  • Requires the OEC commissioner to make a $200 general administrative payment to early intervention service providers for each child with an individualized family service plan that accounts for less than nine service hours during the billing month

House Bill 5001 AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH (OLR analysis)

  • Changes the composition of the Children’s Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board by adding 11 new members and specifying the required credentials of the DCF commissioner’s appointees
  • Requires DCF to establish and administer a mobile psychiatric services data repository for personnel to share best practices and experiences and collect data on patient outcomes

House Bill 5506 AN ACT ADJUSTING THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2023, CONCERNING PROVISIONS RELATED TO REVENUE, SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND OTHER ITEMS TO IMPLEMENT THE STATE BUDGET AND AUTHORIZING AND ADJUSTING BONDS OF THE STATE (OLR analysis)

  • $24.2 billion budget with $600 million in tax cuts
  • nearly $5 million in new funding for public charter schools
  • $1 million in scholarships for minority teacher candidates
  • tax credits for childcare + more than $100 million in child care in the upcoming fiscal year
  • $250-per-child credit for low- and middle-income households
  • boosts property tax credit from $200 to $300
  • new investments in child care, mental health, social services & contracting watchdog agency
  • allows for a $3.5 billion supplemental payment against CT’s massive pension debt
  • private nonprofit community agencies that provide the bulk of state-sponsored social services received a roughly 5% increase in funding ($90 million)
  • expands a new program opening Medicaid eligibility to undocumented children.
  • passed House 95-52 (party-line vote), passed Senate 24-12 (1 Democrat Senator voted no)

Senate Bill 350 AN ACT ESTABLISHING JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY AS A LEGAL HOLIDAY (OLR analysis)

  • This bill establishes a new legal state holiday on June 19 known as Juneteenth Independence Day. The State Personnel Act mandates that each full-time permanent state employee receives paid time off for legal holidays (CGS § 5-254). To the extent it is considered a change in working conditions, an additional paid day off may have to be negotiated with public employee collective bargaining units. By law, legal state holidays are also bank and credit union holidays, during which time, bank and credit union transactions are generally suspended (CGS § 36a-23). The decision to close public schools on Juneteenth Independence Day is made by each local school district. By law, each local and regional board of education that remains open on a legal state holiday must hold a suitable educational program in observance of the holiday. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2022

Progress made

House Bill 5283 AN ACT CONCERNING THE EDUCATION COST SHARING GRANT FORMULA AND THE FUNDING OF OTHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS (OLR analysis)

  • Though not included in the state budget, this legislation paves the way for a student-centered funding system for Connecticut public schools. Learn more at educationjusticenow.org.

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