As Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly prepare to debate the state's budget, our partnership-composed of six education and business organizations-urges state leaders to remain committed to improving public education, primarily by protecting key measures championed last year as part of the groundbreaking education reform law (Public Act 12-116).
In the midst of budget woes, state leaders will have to make tough decisions that could result in cuts to key programs.
Education took an $11.4 million cut overall during the deficit mitigation plan last month, with many of these cuts from key education reforms. These priorities should not be on the table for future cuts.
In order to ensure we continue moving toward providing all of Connecticut's children with a high-quality education, the Gang of Six suggest protecting the following programs and principles:
- Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support. Recommendations include ongoing and effective evaluations to help both teachers and principals identify their strengths and areas of growth.
- Educator Preparation and Certification. More work remains to ensure prospective teachers are graduating from university training programs with full mastery of content and skills rather than simply fulfilling credit requirements for their coursework.
- Student Centered Learning. Environments need to account for different areas of focus and learning styles which require schools and districts to think differently about how they structure and allocate disricts, schools, and resources to meet students' needs.
- School and District Accountability. The Alliance District program and the Commissioner's Network have the potential to dramatically boost student achievement and transform schools, but only if all parties involved are equally committed to implementing dramatic change and if funding for these efforts remains intact.
- School Finance. State and district leaders should use our scarce education dollars in the most effective ways possible.
- Early Childhood. State leaders should remain committed to ensuring that all children have access to high quality programming beginning and parents need clear information about their options.
About the Gang of Six
Our coalition represents different stakeholders and perspectives, including school boards, superintendents, principals, advocates, and the business community. It includes the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER).