September 15, 2017

In Response to Ongoing Budget Conversations, Educators for Excellence-Connecticut is Building a Statewide Coalition of Passionate Teachers to Take on School Funding

E4E Teachers: “Students’ futures should never hang in the balance.”

September 15, 2017 (New Haven, CT)  –  In response to the state’s ongoing budget impasse and negotiations, Educators for Excellence-Connecticut (E4E-Connecticut), a teacher-led organization, is building a coalition of passionate teachers to take on school funding and urge state leaders to prioritize students in their budget decisions.

As part of the organization's commitment to ensuring teachers have a central voice in education policy discussions, E4E-Connecticut is launching two Teacher Policy Teams this fall to address school funding and other issues that teachers say most impact their classrooms and careers. In light of the state’s budget impasse, E4E members are doubling down on the recommendations in their 2016 policy paper “One State, One Future,” which pushed for the consolidation of the 11 funding formulas into one comprehensive, evidence-based and equitable formula. 

The teacher coalition comprises educators from across the state who remain committed to achieving equitable school funding to improve their students’ outcomes. The group will meet throughout the fall and offer localized solutions to help cities mitigate the problems caused by the state’s budget woes.

“Teachers and staff members in Hartford are entering the school year with a growth mindset, as modeled by our superintendent,” said Stuart Beckford, E4E member and Hartford Public School teacher. “Her positive impact on school leaders and teachers is, in turn, passed down to students, thereby building a strong community of learners throughout the city. My message to state leaders remains one of urgency: You’ve made a guarantee to parents to provide a rich educational experience for their children. When our representatives and governor do not disperse funds adequately and equitably to communities across the state, they fail to live up to their promise. The governor needs to demonstrate leadership by encouraging the passage of a bipartisan budget deal that lives up to their pledge and provides all students an excellent education.”

“We applaud the tireless efforts of Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly to ensure a bipartisan deal is made to pass a budget before schools and municipalities required substantial intervention. We have an imperative now to ensure struggling towns like Hartford get what they need to secure schools and operate efficiently,” E4E-Connecticut Executive Director Justin Boucher said. “As budget negotiations continue, we demand a deeper commitment to education and teacher engagement to ensure the solution reached is what’s best for students. Our teachers have made it clear: school funding issues are among the top impediments to student achievement in their classrooms. As such, we urge state leaders to listen to educators, involve teachers in the policymaking process, put students first and ensure budget negotiations never use children as a bargaining chip to make a deal.”

In the coming weeks, E4E-Connecticut’s Teacher Policy Team will begin drafting a brief on the localized effects of inequitable school funding informed by their classroom experiences. Teachers across the state are invited to join our One State, One Future policy team and our second policy team in which teachers will identify and advocate for an issue of their choosing.

Teachers who join either team will receive policy and advocacy training to ensure they are equipped with the skills to develop and advocate for the most effective recommendations. To join either policy team click here and visit e4e.org for more information.

“The Teacher Policy Team is just one way for teachers to gain access to the political conversations that impact their classrooms and professions,” Boucher added. “Our members are willing and ready to work with any decision-maker to ensure education remains a bipartisan priority in Connecticut.”

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