Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study (By Jim Finley, CCJEF) - Wait What?

Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study (By Jim Finley, CCJEF) - Wait What?:

Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study (By Jim Finley, CCJEF)

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Despite all the fiscal and other challenges paralyzing Connecticut, there is an opportunity in the 2017 legislative session to take the first real step toward comprehensive, rational and constitutional education funding reform.  That first step is authorizing an education adequacy cost study be conducted in our state as called for in Substitute House Bill 7270 (File 511, House Calendar 351).
Connecticut’s shame is to tolerate among the most economically and racially segregated school districts in the nation.  As pointed out in painful clarity by the plaintiffs in the historic CCJEF v. Rell case now under appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court, too many of our public school students are denied their state constitutional right to an adequate and equitable education.
Connecticut is failing our poor, special need and minority students.  The achievement gap between poor and minority students and other students in our state is among the worst in the country.  The socioeconomic consequences of such unconstitutional indifference are not only dire for the students affected but for our state as a whole.
Our education finance system is broken and needs to be fixed.  Everyone agrees on this.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
Unfortunately, the wrong way is on full display in the 2017 legislative session.  There are currently at least four proposals to change the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant and special education funding, some public and some not, scurrying around the Capitol.  All repeat the mistakes of the past.
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