While votes are still being counted across the country, the picture is becoming clear: issues related to economic anxiety, threats to democracy and public safety reign supreme. Nationally, the next two years will bring split government, with Republicans at the helm the House and Democrats in control of the Senate. Here in Connecticut, Democrats held firm and continue to control both chambers of the legislature and governorship. ConnCAN would like to congratulate Ned Lamont on his second term as Governor and all of the newly elected state legislators.


So given all the rhetoric, where does education stand on the list of key issues?

Frankly, education and academic quality was not a top-three issue for most voters. Some issues impacting education– such as Covid school closures, parental empowerment and curriculum decisions–were notably present on the campaign trails but without the level of nuance necessary to make thoughtful policy decisions.

But, issues impacted by education were front and center.

    1. Smart Spending and Investments: Here in Connecticut, we have failed to deliver on a clear and equitable education funding system. Right now, we have a $700M+ racial funding gap, nearly a dozen separate formulas to determine state funding and a looming fiscal cliff for school districts. Together, this results in an inefficient and inconsistent funding environment for kids, families and schools. At ConnCAN, we have been a central member of the Education Justice Now Coalition, which aims to transform Connecticut’s antiquated education funding system. The plan will accelerate the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) phase-in, permanently expand weighted funding to all school types and eliminate inter-district tuition charging.
    2. Economy: Our economic futures rely on a highly-qualified workforce, and recent NAEP results show that we are way off track. Likewise, colleges are growing concerned about the preparedness of their new student population. If we do not adequately prepare young people to gain the skills necessary to participate in the new economy, the competitiveness of Connecticut and the United States is at risk. At ConnCAN, we are committed to building a diverse, strong educator pipeline to better serve our rapidly diversifying student population.
    3. Parent Empowerment: Parents have spoken up about becoming more involved in their children’s education. And, while a fair amount of that focus is on curriculum and social issues, the average parent simply wants high-quality educational experiences. Through our community engagement, we have heard parents asking for policies on: direct aid to families for educational expenses, flexible enrollment within district boundaries and an English Language Learner Parent Bill of Rights to close the communication gap between home and school.

As the dust settles and we make sense of this election, ConnCAN is already looking ahead. We look forward to working with members of both parties to create sustainable, equitable and transformative educational systems for our kids.

But, we cannot do this work alone. We need your support, wisdom and energy.

As we roll out our 2023 policy priorities, we’ll make sure to connect them to issues that impact your life. An economically healthy, empowered and respected populace will build strong and responsive schools.


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