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LOB Event on Districts Implementing Right to Read + Ed Committee Advances Charter Authorization Bill

TODAY AT 11: LOB Event Highlights Districts Implementing Right to Read

Today at 11, the Right to Read CT Coalition, the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity (CWCSEO), and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus will host a legislative forum called “Right to Read Series: Implementation and District Transformation.” The event highlights the work underway in the state and public school districts that have embraced implementation of the landmark early literacy legislation. The agenda includes:

  • Opening remarks from Senator Pat Billie Miller; Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker; and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker;

  • A presentation by Director of the Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success Melissa Hickey; and

  • A panel of educators from Bridgeport, Colchester, Waterbury, and CREC

Learn more about the event here, join virtually by registering here, watch the live stream on CT-N, or meet us there in-person at Room 1C of the LOB!

Education Committee Advances Charter Authorization Bill

On Friday, the Education Committee advanced a bill that would significantly improve the current process of authorizing new public charter schools, SB 1096.

As coverage by CT News Junkie, just days prior to the vote, the two teachers’ unions in Connecticut emailed the members of the Education Committee, pressuring them to oppose the bill. “I have never in my 19 years here been vaguely threatened about how I vote on a certain piece of legislation,” the article quotes Education Committee Co-Chair Senator Doug McCrory as saying. “You all read the letter. They’re going to take score of how you all vote on this one piece of legislation.” Representative Jeff Currey, the Committee’s other Co-Chair, described the unions' outreach as an inappropriate address.

Since charter authorizations laws were changed in 2015, the process has become overly complicated, and can mire a community in long-term, political red tape. Not a single charter school has been built in Connecticut since that legislation. (Check out a 1 pager on the issue drafted by ERN CT and the CT Charter Schools Association last year.)

SB 1096 would eliminate the 2015 requirement that makes prospective charters go through an unnecessary two-step approval process through both the State Board of Education and the legislature. It would also establish a non-lapsing account in the general fund to seed the initial funding of a newly approved charter so that it doesn't get lost in the politics of identifying state funding after it has already been given the green light.

In a CT Mirror article, Jessika Harkay writes that legislators also voted on a slew of other bills on Friday—including advancing HB 5003, which would finally finish an effort to fix the ECS formula that began in 2017.

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