This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: Our 2019 End of Year report, regionalization in and out of state, and the upcoming special elections.
2020, Here We Come!
As we prepare to hit the ground running in 2020, we’re also reflecting on the accomplishments of 2019. Check out our End of Year Report, which highlights some of last year’s efforts to increase opportunity for all Connecticut students.
Regionalization Makes 2020 Headlines
In-state and out-of-state, regionalization continues to make headlines. Governor Lamont penned an opinion piece on Monday, observing in part that there remains room for government efficiency, especially locally. He opined that he "may have been premature in pushing my voluntary regionalization efforts," but insisted that he still wants to work with local leaders to reduce overhead and increase shared services. In Ansonia and Derby, where a voluntary regionalization effort is currently being explored, a committee meeting on the issue was cancelled following the resignation of two Ansonia Board of Education members. The committee is expected to reconvene later in the month.
Meanwhile, further north, the Vermont Supreme Court is slated to hear a case next week that questions the validity of a law incentivizing and compelling district mergers.
Upcoming Special Elections in Swing Districts
Next week, be on the lookout for the January 14th special election outcomes in two vacant CT House of Representative seats that are considered to be swing districts. In the 132nd District (Fairfield), Brian Farnen (R) will face Jennifer Leeper (D)—a candidate with a strong background in education. Leeper has served as a Board of Education member, as a policy and data analyst for the Connecticut State Department of Education, and as a school administrator in New York City. If elected, she has committed to focusing on local issues including education. With less than one week to go, however, Republicans have ramped up attacks on Leeper—calling into question her recent consulting work in support of Democratic candidates, including former First Selectman Mike Tetreau, who lost a divisive election this past November.
In the 47th District (Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield, and Windham), local elected official Brian Smith (D) is running on a platform of continuing the legacy of State Representative Linda Orange, who passed away in November. He will face off against Mark DeCaprio (R).