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: the latest on school immunizations, the history of the school busing debate, and education mentions on the presidential trail.
Immunizations and the New Health Commissioner
Amidst a national flurry to end religious exemptions to school immunizations (see our coverage last month here), CT is awaiting Health Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell’s opinion on the matter. According to a CT Mirror article yesterday, most states that have abolished religious exemptions have had the support and/or leadership of their Health Commissioners. House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter and Senate Pro Tem Marty Looney both expect the CT Commissioner to weigh in before the next legislative session. However, Senator Looney has indicated that if Coleman-Mitchell remains neutral, that wouldn’t block any legislative proposals to end the exemptions.
“In quest to repeal vaccine exemption, legislators seek powerful ally” (CT Mirror)
The Business of Busing
On Thursday, The New York Times’ daily podcast (The Daily) unpacked a story from earlier this month, which identified that 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, parts of America remain as segregated as they were when the country first began debating busing as a form of court-ordered school desegregation. The must-read story outlines a distinction in the reactions of White segregationists in the South and the North, where the former featured “anti-integration terrorists” who destroyed Southern schools. The latter, meanwhile protested by couching their resistance in race-neutral language concerning bus routes and a right to neighborhood schools. If we want to integrate schools and provide resource equity to all our students, then residential segregation needs to be addressed in the debate. The ProPublica story on exclusionary zoning policies in CT, released in May, remains so relevant to conversations about improving access to high-quality education for all Connecticut students and families.
Education Mentions On the Presidential Trail This Week