Norwalk, Conn.–Faith leaders from congregations in Norwalk and Bridgeport joined ConnCAN at Norwalk’s Grace Baptist Church today to call on the General Assembly to adopt a fair, equitable, and predictable funding formula by the end of the 2017 legislative session.
“As pastor, I have heard and seen parents of our community deeply expressing their concerns of the injustice of the public education system that is disappointing the children of the community,” said Rev. Dr. Richard Clarke. “That’s why it’s time for our legislators to adopt fair education funding formula. One that lives up to the promise in our state’s constitution to provide a quality public education to all of our children.”
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.
“Judge Moukawsher’s recent decision found that our state’s current education funding system is ‘irrational’ and not directing precious resources to school districts and students in the greatest need,” said Pastor Lenore Jordan of Norwalk’s New Place of Worship. “Our kids can’t wait for yet another court decision reaffirming what we all already know to be true, and that’s why we are urging the General Assembly to adopt a fair education funding formula next session.”
“Many Bridgeport students, often black and brown, are reading far below their grade level, are not graduating high school, and are not receiving the support services they so badly need,” said Pastor Carl McCluster of Shiloh Baptist Church in Bridgeport. “While our students need these additional supports, Bridgeport actually receives less in per pupil education funding than many communities who do not have to deal with the complex challenges created by urban poverty. We must address this issue and that’s why I am proud to stand with my fellow clergy leaders to call on the General Assembly to adopt a fair funding formula now.”
“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 competitiveness 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.”
Also joining today’s call for action were Pastor Lindsay Curtis, Grace Baptist Church, Norwalk; Rev. Henry Floyd, New Jerusalem Baptist Church, Norwalk; and Pastor Deborah Fludd, New Light Missionary Baptist Church, Norwalk.