New Haven, Connecticut – Rae Ann Knopf, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform’s (CCER) Executive Director, today released the following statement in response to the budget reported out by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

From the perspective of education reform, this budget is very disappointing.  It takes many steps backwards on too many of the reforms that were signed into law last year.  For example, it decreases the number of Commissioner’s Network schools from 21 to 12; allocates no funding for implementing Common Core; and allocates half as much funding as needed for districts to phase in the new teacher and principal evaluation and support system. Making these changes in Connecticut schools is critical to closing gaps in learning for Connecticut’s low-income and minority students.

We understand lawmakers are facing very difficult decisions, and we get that they’re trying to do everything they can without the necessary funding.  We’re sympathetic to their plight.  But this is about priorities.

For years Connecticut made little progress on meaningful education reform.  Last year changed all of that.  Last year’s reforms are too important to walk away from, which is basically what this budget does.  Bottom line: if this budget is adopted as is, it will basically take Connecticut back to Square One.

About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color and their peers. We do our work primarily by advocating for state policies and state and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. We support reforms that advance best practices and innovations in education to ensure that every child has an exceptional education. Through public awareness, education, and engagement, we seek to broaden support for these efforts and affect long term sweeping change in the public education system. Our Board of Directors is comprised of prominent business and civic leaders who are deeply committed to our mission.

For more information on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org.

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Contact: Nicki Perkins

nicki.perkins@ctedreform.org

C: 203.506.5799

O: 203.859.6615