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’s stories: Governor Lamont on the state budget, a more nuanced discussion of regionalization, and school infrastructure spending.
The Calm Before the Budget
This week, Governor Ned Lamont published an open letter to all CT residents, in anticipation of his formal budget address, which will be released next week. While managing expectations for the state's lingering budget woes, the Governor’s letter also hinted at reforms to the sales tax.
Coverage of open letter (WTNH and Hartford Courant)
Overview of the components in the state's budget (Capitol Watch Podcast)
Opinions A-Plenty on Regionalization
By now, you’ve heard plenty about the two proposed bills on regionalization in the legislature. Recently, The Day editorialized about the need to look at regionalization proposals carefully, suggesting that local boards should be encouraged to find sensible partnerships. Along similar lines, Representative Michelle Cook, a member of the Education Committee, argued that CT must at least engage in an open dialogue about regionalization, rather than dismissing the idea out of hand. We also heard opinions directly from districts that already have shared regional services.
Proposed bills (Senator Looney’s and Senator Duff and Osten’s)
Opinion from Rep. Cook (CT Post)
Opinion from Region 4 on its effective consolidation of services, as well as “red tape” preventing it from forming a state-sanctioned regional district (CT Post)
Letter to the Editor from Easton, observing that shared services are voluntarily happening more often than many realize (CT Post)
DC Dems Highlight School Spending
In national news, the House Education and Labor Committee held its first K-12 hearing under Democratic control yesterday, focused on teacher pay and school infrastructure. The Committee Chairman, Rep. Bobby Scott, has introduced a $100 billion school infrastructure bill. But while Democrats have called for increased federal spending, Republicans have tended to lean on the ideas of increased local control and better management of existing resources.
Coverage of the hearing (The 74)
Coverage of the $100B school infrastructure bill (The Journal)