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Legislator Orientation, School Discipline, and Commissioner Watch

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. This week: orienting new legislators, discriminatory discipline, and the watch for Commissioner of Education.

New Legislator Orientation

The newly elected legislators in Connecticut’s General Assembly had orientation this week. As they begin to prepare for 2019 and to build out their policy agendas, we think our Candidate's Guide on key education issues in Connecticut (drafted collaboratively with Achieve Hartford, CBIA, and CCER) is a good place to start!

Discriminatory Discipline

This week saw renewed stories that the school safety commission under President Trump and Betsy DeVos will revoke Obama-era guidance on school discipline. The guidance under consideration had warned school districts that they could be violating civil rights by disproportionately disciplining students of color. We saw a similar issue play out in Connecticut this year, when the legislature passed a bill with unfair disciplinary legislation that would have marginalized vulnerable students. The bill was ultimately vetoed by Governor Malloy, and we advocated to prevent that veto from being overturned.

Commissioner Watch

The past week has also seen new appointments to the Lamont administration, with the Governor-elect bringing Melissa McCaw aboard as state budget director, Ryan Drajewicz as chief of staff, Colleen Flanagan Johnson as senior advisor, and Superior Court Judge Robert W. Clark as general counsel. But we’re still waiting anxiously to see who will be the Commissioner of Education. Who would you like to see fill the role?


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