October 27, 2016

Educators for Excellence-Connecticut teachers offer school finance recommendations in new report and launch statewide advocacy campaign

Teachers call for overhaul of the state’s school finance system in order to adequately, equitably and transparently meet all students’ educational needs

October 25, 2016 (Hartford, Connecticut) – A group of Connecticut teachers today released their report One State, One Future: Reimagining School Finance in Connecticut, which provides state legislators with recommendations for creating a single funding formula that would meet all students’ needs. These recommendations come as Connecticut students, parents and teachers await a state supreme court decision that will determine the future of education funding in the state.

“Inequitable school funding means that my students, and many across Connecticut, are shortchanged when it comes to classroom resources and access to experienced teachers, which widens the achievement gap and perpetuates the cycle of poverty in our state,” said Margaret O’Connor, a tenth-grade civics teacher at Central High School in Bridgeport. “My students deserve to have the same opportunities as students from other districts — now it is up to our state legislators to see that they do.”

In One State, One Future, E4E-Connecticut teachers call on state legislators to address the state’s 11 cumbersome funding formulas, which create a piecemeal system lacking adequacy, equity, and transparency with a system that will:

  • Establish an adequacy-based funding system,
  • Adjust the comprehensive formula for equity,
  • Provide accurately and sufficiently for student need,
  • Ensure state funding effectively serves kids, and
  • Support districts with fiscal accountability and transparency.

The teachers’ recommendations are informed by surveys from nearly 300 Connecticut educators and several educator focus groups to understand the most essential strategies for improving school finance from experienced teachers serving in our state’s classrooms. More detail regarding the teachers’ analysis and recommendations can be found at One State, One Future, as well as ways the public can get involved in advocating for fairer funding in Connecticut.

“Each day, Connecticut teachers see firsthand how our state’s funding system fails to meet the needs of all our students - particularly those with special needs and living in low-income communities - which is why their insight and expertise will be critical to finding a solution that will work for our students and our state,” said E4E-Connecticut Executive Director Justin Boucher. “One State, One Future is really just a first step, as E4E-Connecticut teachers are looking to continue this conversation on school funding with legislators, parents and community members to create the momentum for the more equitable system students in our state so desperately need and deserve.”

“We should all care about fixing school funding in Connecticut, because it impacts all of us and the future of our state,” said Cindy J. Cadet, a New Haven parent. “Other parents, administrators and the community need to get involved so that students have a real chance of succeeding.”

On September 7, 2016, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell that Connecticut’s current school finance system is inequitable, irrational, and unconstitutional. He gave the state 180 days to propose reforms leading to a rational, equitable and verifiable distribution of education aid and school construction funds. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen appealed the ruling to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which announced on September 20, 2016 that it would hear the appeal and issued a stay on Judge Moukawsher’s order, but did not set a date for the hearing.

For more information:
Download the report: http://1state1future.org/assets/e4e2016_ctonestateonefuture_finalweb.pdf
Visit the campaign website: http://www.1state1future.org/