Lack of transparency led to a weak version of reform bill that will impede progress for students

HARTFORD—Six education and business groups* today came together to express disappointment over the modified version of Senate Bill 24 that passed the Education Committee on Monday and the process by which it was negotiated. Here is their statement:

The new version of S.B. 24 fails to move forward with several of the bold proposals Governor Malloy put forth, and it signals a lack of urgency to fix the fundamental issues that plague Connecticut’s public school system.

The process by which changes to this bill were negotiated excluded the voices of Superintendents, Boards of Education, principals, parents, community leaders, and students. The result is a bill that reflects compromises that appear to be brought on by pressure from the teachers unions.

In this process, the Education Committee watered down or delayed many of the important reforms originally proposed. As it is now written, this bill will not bring about the reforms Connecticut’s students need. Next week, our organizations will convene to issue a formal statement and analysis that outlines our specific concerns about the current version of the bill.

We are hopeful that bipartisan legislative leaders, committed to providing all students a high-quality educational program, will involve all stakeholders during the next phase of this legislative process, and will work in partnership with Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Pryor to return the tenets of bold reform to this bill. Collectively, we must get this right for Connecticut’s children.

* The groups are: Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN).

Contacts:

Joe Cirasuolo, CAPSS jcirasuolo@capss.org
Robert Rader, CABE rrader@cabe.org
Karissa Niehoff, CAS kniehoff@casciac.org
Patrick Riccards, ConnCAN patrick.riccards@conncan.org
Rae Ann Knopf, CCER Raeann.knopf@ctedreform.org
Louis Bach, CBIA Louis.Bach@cbia.com