On Tuesday, May 9th, Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), hosted a panel discussion called, “Equitable Education: Why a Fair Funding System Matters,” during the annual meeting of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention.
The panel brought state leaders and advocates together to discuss why Connecticut needs a fair funding formula for its public schools. This urgent issue impacts students and communities statewide. As Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher noted in his landmark CCJEF v. Rell decision last fall, “[T]he state spends billions of dollars on schools without any binding principle guaranteeing that education aid goes where it’s needed… The system cannot work unless the state sticks to an honest formula that delivers state aid according to local need.” Panelists included: State Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano; State Representative Christopher Rosario (D-Chair, Black and Puerto Rican Caucus); Jessica Martinez, a Bridgeport parent and lead plaintiff in the Martinez v. Malloy case ;Pastor Abraham Hernandez; and Pastor Kenneth Moales, Jr. The discussion was moderated by ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander.
“ConnCAN is honored to host another Education Hour panel discussion at the 113th Annual Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention,” said Alexander. “Every child in our state deserves a funding formula that is fair, sustainable, and based on their learning needs across all public schools. The chance to change our education funding formula happens once every 25 years. We are encouraged that some of our state leaders and community advocates came together to share ideas about how to provide fair education funding and educational opportunities for all children.”
Rev. Dr. Lindsay Curtis, President of the Convention, observed, “As Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Norwalk, I see firsthand how a broken funding formula impacts students, their families and our communities. Our districts need a logical and predictable way to plan their education budgets, and our students need funding based on their needs. I am thrilled that we were able to get this group together to discuss such an important topic.”
Approximately 500 Conference attendees from across Connecticut attended the panel.
About the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention:
The Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention was organized in 1904 at the Messiah Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Eleven churches were called together and the first President of the convention was Rev. W.M. Morton and Secretary was Rev. Isaac W. Reed. It must be noted here that the convention has met in Annual Sessions since its inception without interruption despite two world wars and the Great Depression. The organization has grown from its original 11 churches to the present status of over 80 member churches.