FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 5, 2020 CONTACT: Amy Dowell | Amy@edreformnow.org
Education Reform Now CT Responds to Governor’s Budget Adjustments
February 5, 2020—Today, Governor Ned Lamont opened the 2020 legislative session with the release of his proposed FY 2021 budget adjustments. Amy Dowell, State Director of Education Reform Now CT, applauded the Governor’s proposals in the following areas:
Full-funding for ECS. The Governor’s budget reinforces Connecticut’s recent progress on its newly adopted ECS formula by fully funding it for the coming year.
Guided pathways expansion. An additional $2.1 million will be put toward student advisor expansion for higher education in state community colleges.
Low-income college scholarships. Under this budget, UConn would eliminate tuition for all students of families earning less than $50,000 a year, and offer debt forgiveness for currently enrolled community college students.
Additional curriculum resources. Two additional staff positions would be created to support curriculum development and increase academic performance.
Ending the religious exemption for vaccinations. Connecticut cannot let its loudest critics sway us from the important priority of keeping children safe. Vaccinations must be required for all healthy children, and addressing the vaping crisis is also an important step we support.
In other areas, however, Dowell said Connecticut can and should do more. Specifically the Governor’s budget decreases spending for some of its highest need students. The adjustments would cut $4.6 million from public charter school funding, as well as an additional $250,000 from the Commissioner’s Network. Additionally, it falls short by not expanding the Open Choice program state-wide to enhance student academic options and includes few details on how the state might end legacy housing segregation, as the Governor called for last month.
Said Dowell, “Governor Lamont’s budget maintains important funding across many areas. But the Connecticut legislature must do more with an eye towards educational equity. When it comes to allocating the state’s limited resources for students most in need, as well as expanding access and opportunity for all public school families, it’s our hope that the General Assembly offer broader and more robust investments in our schools, in our students, and in our communities.
"When dollars are short and needs are great, Connecticut leaders are forced to make choices and weigh priorities. In 2020, it’s more critical than ever that those priorities and limited resources are focused on how our state can be a fairer, more equitable place to raise children and educate students. Education Reform Now CT looks forward to partnering with the Governor and the General Assembly toward those goals.”
ERN CT’s 2020 ‘Equity in Education’ Agenda can be found here.
About Education Reform Now CT
The state chapter of a national organization and affiliate of DFER CT, Education Reform Now CT is a 501(c)(3) that operates as a think tank and policy advocate, promoting great educational opportunities and achievement for all by increasing equity, protecting civil rights, and strengthening the social safety net.