This week, public school students across the state of Connecticut are returning to the classroom. Each new school year brings back into focus the potential of every student and our obligation to ensure each and every one has access to a high-quality education.

It is encouraging to see advancements in many Connecticut school districts, including Hartford Public Schools which is opening the new Weaver High School to hundreds of students today. The facility is state-of-the-art, boasting high-tech science labs and rooms equipped with enough computers for every student.

This facility is surely a victory for the students and the community it serves. It is, though, only one facility designed to accommodate 800 students, yet there are over 500,000 students enrolled in Connecticut’s public school system. Of those students, over 200,000 attend schools in Alliance Districts — the 33 lowest performing districts in the state comprised of 410 schools. Those students are no less deserving of a modern, inspiring facility where they can strive for academic excellence and have opportunities to prepare for careers of the future.

It is important to celebrate advancement, and we congratulate all involved in building the new Weaver High School. It is equally important that, ultimately, we celebrate opening (or redesign) of similar facilities so that all public school students in Connecticut can learn and thrive in schools that position them for academic excellence and career success.

It is important to note, too, that facilities and high-end equipment and technology alone are not sufficient. Quality education requires, among other things, effective educators and strong leadership.

These key elements are certainly in place in many Connecticut public school districts, but that is not enough. Every district must be so equipped.

We welcome your support in pursuit of this goal.