New Haven, Connecticut – Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) today released the following statement in response to Governor Malloy’s State of the State address:

“We applaud Governor Malloy for his dedication to improving early childhood education in Connecticut, and we urge the Legislature to adopt his proposal. In addition to sustaining the reform efforts from 2012 and 2013, CCER’s top priority for the 2014 legislative session is to increase preschool opportunities for low-income children.”

“Simply put, we are failing about 6,500 low-income preschool-aged students who lack access to a high-quality preschool experience. Oftentimes, these low-income children start out at a disadvantage and are more likely to enter kindergarten significantly behind their more affluent peers. But education has the potential to be a great equalizer. We need to provide these low-income children with early experiences and remediation before they fall too far behind.”

“We urge all stakeholders to take seriously the Governor’s plan to codify an Office of Early Childhood (OEC) into statute. By integrating various related programs under one roof, the OEC provides an opportunity to better coordinate the services being offered in Connecticut and systematically address necessary changes.”

“In addition, CCER would encourage the legislature to provide additional high-quality preschool slots to low-income children in 2014, as well as begin building a Quality Rating and Improvement System that will monitor early childhood programming across the state to ensure that children are being provided with high-quality experiences. This morning’s budget briefing, which proposes a $14 million increase in preschool spending for FY 2015, makes clear that Gov. Malloy agrees this should be a priority. As Gov. Malloy observed in his State of the State Address, ‘education is the civil rights issue of our time,’ so we need to join together to make sure every child has access to a preschool experience.”

###

About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization that works to close the achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between minority and children and their peers. We support reforms that advance best practices and innovations in education to ensure that every child has an exceptional education. We do our work primarily by: (1) advocating for state policies and state and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations; (2) working directly with districts to build strong systems that will support reform efforts; and (3) raising public awareness about the need to 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.

# # #

Contact:  Nicki Perkins
Nicki.Perkins@ctedreform.org
C: 203.506.5799
O: 203.859.6615