New Haven, Conn.–Faith leaders from congregations in New Haven and Bridgeport joined ConnCAN at New Haven’s Amistad Memorial today to call on the General Assembly to adopt a fair, equitable, and predictable funding formula by the end of the 2017 legislative session.
“It is unacceptable that too many of Connecticut’s children, particularly those in our urban communities, are not receiving the great public education they deserve,” said Bishop Theodore L. Brooks Sr. of New Haven’s Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church. “By not setting our kids up for success, we are doing them an injustice. This is a systemic education and civil rights issue that can and must be fixed. That is why I proudly stand beside my fellow clergy members, brothers and sisters, and call on our General Assembly to adopt a fair education funding formula this upcoming session.”
The call to action follows an October 23, 2016 open letter signed by more than 100 Connecticut clergy leaders urging immediate action to develop a fair education funding formula as called for in Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s recent CCJEF v Rell ruling.
“There can be no question that too many of Connecticut’s students of color in communities like Bridgeport and New Haven attend public schools that are not giving them the education they need to succeed,” said Pastor Kenneth H. Moales, Jr. of Bridgeport’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. “That’s just not right. It’s not equal. And its why now is the time for the General Assembly to adopt a fair funding formula that gives all of our students’ access to the quality education guaranteed by our state’s constitution.”
“In New Haven, nearly 25% of our city’s students fail to graduate high school, and that’s just not acceptable,” said Pastor Daniel B. Bland of New Haven’s Mt. Calvary Revival Center. “A major reason for this injustice is the fact that our public schools are underfunded, particularly when compared with better off communities just a few miles away. That’s why today, I’m calling on our General Assembly leaders to act to adopt a fair education funding formula that provides resources to our students and public schools in the greatest need. Our kids can’t wait any longer for this basic reform.”
“We cannot kick the can down the road on the issue of educational equity for our children any longer,” said ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander. “This is a fundamental issue impacting our children’s future and the future economic competiveness of our state. That’s why ConnCAN is proud to stand with Connecticut faith leaders to call on the General Assembly to take immediate action to adopt a fair funding formula for all of our public schools and all of our children who deserve access to a great education.”
“I stand with the people of New Haven and our clergy leaders today in urging my colleagues in the General Assembly to take action to create an equitable school funding system,” said State Representative Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven). “As a member of both the Education and Appropriations committees I have fought to ensure that New Haven’s public schools are funded fairly and I will continue to do so in this coming session.”
Also joining today’s call for action were Pastor Randhal Furlow (New Life Covenant Church), Pastor Walter Oliver (Ebenezer Chapel), Pastor Donald Morris (New Light Kingdom Outreach), Pastor Philippe Andal (Community Baptist Church), Pastor Kelcy Steele (Varick Memorial), Pastor Steven Cousins(Bethel AME Church) and Pastor Todd Foster (Church on the Rock).