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: a forum at the LOB on regionalization, Betsy DeVos makes headlines, and the loss of school shooting victims.
Forum this Friday on Shared Services, Shared Opportunity. In case you missed last week’s news on district regionalization, Governor Lamont revised his legislation on the topic, removing a call for redistricting and instead seeking a plan to "encourage" shared services. In a press release, DFER CT and ERN CT’s Amy Dowell responded, urging real change. She also was featured on WATR’s Talk of the Town to discuss the myths and facts about district regionalization. Amidst all of the excitement and controversy on this topic, we’re anticipating a big turnout at our upcoming district regionalization forum on Friday, March 29th, Shared Services, Shared Opportunity. If you haven’t already registered, now’s your moment! The event will cover the benefits of shared services for students and communities, and allow lawmakers, the press, and the public to learn more about what regionalization is... and what it isn’t.
DeVos Facing Checks and Balances. Betsy DeVos has been making the news this week after striking out in court… again. The embattled Education Secretary has been repeatedly stymied by courts in her attempts to end education policies that were introduced under President Obama. They say that she is failing to follow appropriate administrative processes while delaying implementation. In 2018, a judge ordered DeVos to implement an Obama-era borrower defense rule, which allows defrauded students to have their student loans forgiven. This month, a federal judge has prevented her from changing Obama-era policies regarding racial disparities in special education programs.
Yesterday, Secretary DeVos also testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee, in defense of the Trump Administration's budget cuts to the Education Department. She has been criticized because the cuts will defund the Special Olympics.
Renewed Conversations on Gun Control. The nation is in mourning after three apparent suicides in the wake of school shootings: two teenagers who had survived the Parkland shooting, and the father of one of the Sandy Hook Elementary victims. These losses have revived a national dialogue on gun control. Here in Connecticut, the Judiciary Committee passed “Ethan’s Law” last week, a bill that would require all firearms to be safely stored in homes occupied by minors. The Committee also passed a bill banning ghost guns.