Today, Republican legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly proposed a budget for FY 2018 and 2019, including several proposed changes to how the State of Connecticut funds K-12 public education. In response to the budget and its education funding proposals, Jennifer Alexander, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) offered the following statement:
We appreciate Republican lawmakers taking long-overdue steps to replace Connecticut’s broken system of funding public education and for their willingness to tackle this issue of fundamental fairness for our state’s children.
We are encouraged by some elements of this proposal that are intended to direct additional resources to students with the greatest learning needs, including students in poverty and English Language Learners.
However, this proposal falls short of the comprehensive fix that is needed for Connecticut schools to deliver a quality education to all our students, across all our public schools. This budget leaves public schools of choice out and perpetuates the current irrational and inequitable funding system. This undermines the potential of high quality schools that serve some of the most at-risk student populations in the state, including New Haven’s Amistad High School, which was recently ranked as the number-one high school in Connecticut by US News & World Report.
We need a budget and funding formula that treats public school students fairly based the on their learning needs, across all our public schools, and that brings Connecticut in sync with other states. We hope that the Governor and General Assembly will work towards a truly comprehensive fix that treats students across all public schools fairly and consistently.
History tells us that the opportunity to enact a new education funding formula happens once in a generation, at best. Our state leaders must take this rare opportunity to get this right and set all our students, schools and state up for success.
We look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the Governor to adopt, this legislative session, the fair, predictable and sustainable school funding formula Connecticut needs to ensure a bright future for our children and our state.