Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ConnCAN calls on state leaders to 'protect progress on education reform'

In a release Wednesday, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, also known as ConnCAN, an education advocacy organization, urged Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly "to protect the progress made for students" in Connecticut "with last year’s groundbreaking education reform law."

The release cited Public-Act 12-116.

"Less than one-year later, several key measures of the education reform law may be under attack in the midst of lawmakers’ efforts" address state budget issues, the release said.

"Connecticut suffers from the worst-in-the-nation student achievement gap on the National Assessment of Educational Progress." the release said.
"In order to address this problem, (Malloy) championed a legislative effort last year to enact a set of much-needed reforms, which the General Assembly approved with nearly unanimous support," the release said.
 “When it comes to improving educational outcomes for all kids, Governor Malloy has led the charge to fight for improvements our students so desperately need,” said Jennifer Alexander, show in photo and acting CEO for ConnCAN, also in the release.

"Since the passage of Public Act 12-116 last May, a dire budget crunch forced state legislators to make some tough choices: last month’s deficit mitigation plan cut a total of $11.4 million from education funding, and nearly half (47 percent) of those cuts were to key pillars of the education reform law," the release said.

According to the ConnCan release, elements of the state reform package that were cut last month include
(These are unedited and presented as provided)
The Commissioner’s Network: which was created last year to turn around 25 of our state’s lowest-performing schools, and help the thousands of Connecticut students who are stuck in these failing schools – had nearly one-third of its annual budget ($2,425,000) gutted by last month’s deficit mitigation plan.
Per-Pupil Funding for Charter Schools: Per-pupil increases for charter school students – necessary to begin closing the state’s unfair funding gap between traditional public school students and public charter students – took a $2 million haircut, which equates to slashing $300 from each student.
New Statewide Educator Evaluation Program: The new statewide educator evaluation program – created to provide the feedback and support necessary to further empower high-performing teachers and principals, make certain that low-performing teachers get the help they need, and allow for the swift dismissal of those who consistently fail to improve – received up to a $1 million cut in funds as part of the deficit mitigation plan.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.


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