FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Nicki Perkins
EMAIL: Nicki.Perkins@ctedreform.org
PHONE: 203-506-5799

CCER: Education Remains Best Investment for Connecticut’s Future

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, February 18, 2015, Governor Malloy delivered his biennial budget address. In response, Jeffrey Villar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), made the following statement:

“We are pleased that the Governor’s proposal prioritizes capital investments in the Alliance Districts, emphasizes the importance of full-day Kindergarten, and continues state funding for preschool. Investing early will save us money in the long run by setting students up for success.

“However, we should also be strategically investing now in programs that bring the best and brightest in the teaching profession to the lowest-performing districts. For example, if we want every classroom to have an exceptional teacher, we need to invest in incentives that will attract and retain them in the neediest public schools.

“The proposed budget also outlines a hiring freeze. We recognize that this is an important measure because of the impending budget deficit. However, we need to ensure that the next Commissioner of Education is able to staff the State Department of Education with enough capacity to provide high-quality technical support to our neediest districts, and hold them accountable for results. We are concerned that a hiring freeze may impede an incoming Commissioner’s ability to effectively narrow the achievement gap.

“Narrowing Connecticut’s widest-in-the-nation achievement gap is of incredible moral importance, but it is also an economic imperative for this state. We need to continue our commitment to a long-term investment in improving outcomes for our students if we want to ensure Connecticut’s economic viability.”

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About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)–a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization–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 advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations.

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