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Take Action, Support Students


With one day left in the legislative session, are you communicating with your elected leaders about the education equity priorities that matter to you? On both teacher certification and legacy preference, there's plenty of work to be done before the final gavel! 




More About HB 5436 - An Act Concerning Educator Certification

Connecticut students need access to a high-quality, diverse educator workforce. Yet we are facing widespread teacher shortages, and 88.8% of the existing workforce is white in our state. Currently, teacher preparation is expensive and leaves some new teachers feeling unprepared for the classroom; teacher certification has arbitrary barriers that keep out too many candidates of color; and the state lacks transparent data about the workforce. We need systemic reform to the preparation and certification systems that feed the teacher career pipeline. 


HB 5436, An Act Concerning Educator Certification, gets at many of these problems by:  

  • Eliminating a certification tier in order to simplify the process for teachers to obtain professional status;

  • Broadening grade bands for various certification endorsements so that it’s easier to staff classrooms;

  • Prioritizing pathways for paraeducators to become teachers;

  • Reducing burdensome testing requirements for prospective teachers by: (1) eliminating edTPA as a gating requirement; and (2) exploring alternatives to the Praxis II; and

  • Establishing a new standards board to monitor systems of preparation and certification on an ongoing basis.


New Teacher Track—a coalition of educators, researchers, advocacy leaders, and non-partisan legislative staff who are partnering to advance meaningful policy change—recently put out a document (at right) identifying the ongoing roles and responsibilities of this new standards board


HB 5436 passed out of the House last week, but it still needs to be called in the Senate. Tell your Senator that it’s time to take action on this bill, before the end of session!


More About SB 203 - Connecticut’s 2024 Bill on Legacy Preferences

Legacy Preference is the admissions practice of giving a weighted advantage to college applicants with family members who are alumni. It is discriminatory and perpetuates racial and socio-economic inequities.


This year, the Co-Chairs of the legislature's Committee on Higher Education—Senator Derek Slap and Representative Gregg Haddad—have worked hard to address the discriminatory impact of this admissions practice. Just yesterday, two Yale students also published a joint op-ed in Inside Higher Ed regarding the need to protect our meritocracy by ending legacy preference.


SB 203 would require all institutions of higher education to either formally attest that they do not practice legacy or donor preference, or produce disaggregated data on admissions that could elucidate the extent to which donor relationships, legacy affiliations, and financial needs impact enrollment. These new data could help to end unfair admissions practices in the future.


SB 203 has passed out of the Senate, but it still needs to be called in the House. Tell your Representative and House Leadership that it’s time to take action on this bill, before the end of session!


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