Citing a lack of strategic state investment in education, ConnCAN calls for greater action
HARTFORD, Conn.—Today’s State of the State Address from Governor Lamont lacked a focus on key structural issues facing Connecticut school districts, students, teachers and families.
ConnCAN Executive Director Subira Gordon said: “Today’s budget missed the mark entirely. We had an opportunity to innovate and build a fair system for all kids to achieve their potential. Yet, we see no positive changes in the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula. We see no investment in building a diverse educator workforce. We see no investment in innovative schools, like the approved Danbury charter school. If we want to make true progress, these investments must occur now. Simply put, the Governor’s budget does not invest in students at a level that creates equitable opportunities. When we leave students behind, our state falls behind.”
Gordon added: “Connecticut has the worst opportunity gaps in the country, and this budget does nothing to fix that issue. Every year we fail to act is another year where thousands of kids get left behind. Enough is enough. We owe it to our kids who have struggled mightily prior to and during the pandemic. It starts with funding, teacher quality, school improvement, and innovation.”
The Lamont administration has heard from families and educators about the challenges facing students, many of whom are struggling due to decades of underinvested schools, extended remote learning, sudden school closures and the social and emotional strains of this pandemic.
Gordon added: “Relying on federal funding, selective open choice programs and a court settlement will not solve Connecticut’s structural problems on education funding. Only a comprehensive student-centered funding plan will.”
However, today’s budget discussion did not address our state’s broken funding system and ConnCAN sees no effort to remedy an education formula that disproportionately hurts districts comprised largely of students of color.
ConnCAN is asking: When is our state going to make the structural changes needed to close the nation’s worst opportunity gaps? When will we make good on a promise of excellent schools for all of our children? Generations of kids have been let down by budget after budget that fails to prioritize their potential.
Gordon added: “This is simple. Data continues to confirm what we knew early on, that children have suffered and more investments must be made to address learning loss, social-emotional development and students’ understanding of basic literacy, math and science.
We look forward to the public hearing process so the governor and legislators can hear from Connecticut families, educators and counselors about how underinvestment in our schools and a lack of urgency addressing teacher and staff shortages have damaged Connecticut’s education system.”
About ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now): ConnCAN is leading a movement to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids. We bring advocates, policymakers, parents, and educators together to change the system and give all kids access to the great public schools they deserve.