February 10 (Hartford, CT) — Educators for Excellence-Connecticut (E4E-Connecticut), a teacher-led organization, reacted to Governor Lamont’s proposed budget at the 2022 Connecticut legislative session on Wednesday. Lamont’s plan reduces funding allocated to Education Cost Sharing (ECS) this year and fails to include resources to recruit and retain individuals in our education system.
“There is a severe racial funding gap in Connecticut schools, and the consequences of this gap have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Daniel Pearson, State Director of Educators for Excellence-Connecticut. “We are disappointed to see that Governor Lamont’s proposed budget does not do enough to mitigate these issues. While we have an influx of American Rescue Plan ESSER funds, in order for us to truly address the inequities in our schools, we need to fully fund education before the federal ESSER dollars run out in 2024.”
“Additionally, we have had unprecedented levels of staffing shortages in our schools impacting both student achievement and educator wellbeing,” Pearson noted. “Any education planning or programming that comes out of this legislature is insufficient without the staff to implement the programs. More progress must be made during the 2022 legislative session to increase staffing and give our students the education they need and deserve.”
With a $725 million racial funding gap between affluent and high needs districts, Connecticut is not providing fair and equitable education to our students, and this budget proposal does little to rectify the issue.
“Connecticut needs equitable school funding and we need it now,” Pearson continued. “The need is visible in our burnt out staff. The need is visible in our discouraged students. The need is visible in the clear opportunity gaps amongst Connecticut school districts. Equitable school funding is a nonnegotiable necessity.”
Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 33,000 educators nationwide, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education.
For more information, please visit e4e.org.