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: Ed Committee approves regionalization, another Bridgeport superintendent departs, and quick stories on your radar.
Joint Favorable for Regionalization
Last Friday, Education Reform Now CT, DFER CT’s affiliate organization, held a forum at the LOB on the benefits of district regionalization and shared services, featuring Senate President Pro Tempore Marty Looney; Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff; Co-Chair of the Education Committee Douglas McCrory; Undersecretary of OPM Jonathan Harris from the Lamont Administration; Essex School Board Chair Lon Seidman and Plainville Superintendent Maureen Brummet, representing districts that have done the hard work of sharing services; and executives from EdAdvance, a RESC. The event has received a lot of attention, in large part because ERN CT has been the primary advocacy voice in support of district regionalization proposals before the legislature. Following the event, the Education Committee approved the Governor’s amended regionalization bill, SB 874, which will establish a Commission on Shared School Services to develop recommendations for collaboration among school districts. On Sunday, the Hartford Courant featured Amy’s OpEd on the benefits of shared services.
Another Superintendent Leaving Bridgeport
Superintendent Aresta Johnson informed the Bridgeport Board of Education on Monday that she will only stay for another year. This local board, for years now, has been notorious for its dysfunction--leading to long-term instability for the school district and its students. In particular, Board member Maria Pereira has regularly appeared in news stories for her behavior during meetings. Bridgeport deserves stability in its education leadership so that the needs of its parents and students can be the priority.
What Else You Need to Know This Week:
The backlash against Betsy DeVos has continued this week. Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark has called for the Secretary's resignation over the Education Department’s roll-back of Obama-era school discipline policies, which the Representative has called out as being racist (US News). And President Trump threw Secretary DeVos under the bus on the administration’s budget cuts, proclaiming that he’d saved the Special Olympics (Washington Post).
Also in national news, Delaware Senator Chris Coons thanked ERN's Michael Dannenberg for promoting the Aspire Act, which would hold higher education institutions accountable for serving vulnerable student populations (Twitter).
Here at home, Governor Lamont has been making the case for increased recruitment of educators of color (Lamont Press Statement).