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December 27, 2016

The Fight For Fair Funding, Increasing Teacher Diversity & Other Highlights From ConnCAN’s Work in 2016

As the year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the progress we’ve seen take shape in 2016.  From Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s landmark education equity decision in CCJEF v. Rell, to fighting for a fair education funding formula, to promoting teacher diversity, ConnCAN has been advocated for policies and legislation to ensure that all of our state’s children receive the great public education they deserve.


Here are some of our memorable moments and wins for public education in Connecticut over the past year:


Over 100 Connecticut clergy members urge state leaders to take action on CCJEF

“We the undersigned members of our state’s faith-based community call upon the General Assembly to seize this rare opportunity this coming session to fix Connecticut’s education problems and not wait for another courtroom decision.”


Poll: 68 % of CT Voters Support Moukawsher Decision, 57% Want Immediate Action to Improve Public Schools

“These results show that there is a clear consensus for action to fix the way Connecticut funds local public schools so it’s fair for every student. Not only do a strong majority of voters support the decision, but they believe the General Assembly should take action to create a plan for improving Connecticut’s public schools, not delay while the ruling is appealed.” -- said Danny Franklin, Managing Partner, Benenson Strategy Group


Judge Thomas Moukawsher issues scathing court decision in CCJEF v. Rell case

“Judge Moukawsher’s ruling reinforces our position that money alone will not improve our public schools. We are pleased that he has called on our state leaders to make bold changes needed to ensure that students are graduating high school ready for college and career.”-- Jennifer Alexander, CEO of ConnCAN


Education Secretary John King visits Connecticut

“What stood out the most during Sec. King’s visit was how Connecticut is a national leader in creating state legislation that attempts to recruit and retain more teachers of color to Connecticut’s classrooms. In back-to-back sessions the governor and the General Assembly passed into law Public Act 16-41 and Public Act 15-108.”-- Liam Sweeney, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs, ConnCAN


Celebrating 20 years of public charter schools in Connecticut

“As we celebrate 20 years of public charter schools in Connecticut, there is little doubt that they have provided thousands of students with better educational opportunities and set them on a path for future success, whether they are established schools such as Achievement First Amistad Academy, or relatively new schools such as Booker T. Washington Academy.” -- ConnCAN Blog

Advocates, Legislators and Educators gather to celebrate signing of Minority Teacher Recruitment Bill
“In me, my students see themselves.” National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes shared these words during a roundtable discussion at the Carmen Arace Middle School library about minority teacher recruitment. Now, with a new bill signed into law, more students will be able to see teachers who look like them in the classroom. --ConnCAN Blog


ConnCAN In The News 2016


In Norwalk, faith leaders call for school funding fix, The Hour, November 14, 2016

Faith leaders from Norwalk and several nearby communities took to the front steps of Grace Baptist Church on Monday afternoon to bring “moral authority” to the ongoing call for Connecticut legislators to adopt a fair, equitable and predictable education funding formula. . . The event was held in coordination with ConnCAN, an organization dedicated to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids.


Poll: Most say don’t wait for courts to fix school funding, CT Post, October 25, 2016

Most Connecticut voters don’t want to wait for a final court ruling before the state fixes the way public schools are funded, a new survey suggests.


A telephone survey in October of 600 people who voted in the last gubernatorial election found overwhelming support for a decision handed down in September by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher. The ruling found woeful inadequacy in the way the state doles out funding for education.


Did one Connecticut judge just change the conversation about education inequality?, Opinion, Hechinger Report, September 13, 2016

"Schools are for kids.” In that one short statement, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher delivered a harsh rebuke to anyone who has forgotten that simple truth.


His ruling reminded all of us that our state has a constitutional obligation to fulfill a right of the highest importance: a great public education. In a court ruling that was mainly about how much we should be spending on education, Judge Moukawsher went deeper into the issue because money alone cannot and will not solve our persistent educational shortcomings.


Jennifer Alexander: Let’s educate all, not jail more, Column, New Haven Register, July 28, 2016

A new report by the U.S. Department of Education that shows that state and local government spending to incarcerate people rose about three times as fast as spending on elementary and secondary education since 1980; a sobering fact Connecticut policymakers should no longer ignore. Connecticut education spending increased 161 percent between 1980 and 2013, and its spending on incarceration increased 248 during the same period.


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