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: the Governor’s budget proposal, a look at gun violence, and the upcoming special elections.
Quick Budget Takeaways
Governor Lamont proposed a budget to the General Assembly today, which included projected revenue increases of $1.28 billion in the first year and $1.76 billion in the second year. Over the past week, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) had expressed concern that if the Governor reduced their funding from last year, their already large shortfall would increase. However, the Governor’s proposal maintains funding for both UConn and CSCU. The proposal also includes a plan to address teacher pension liability. We cover these and other takeaways on education in this week’s DFER CT Playbook.
National Dialogue on School Shootings
Valentine's Day marked a year since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The anniversary has sparked a national dialogue about gun violence and school safety. Two new academic studies link increased police presence in schools to worse academic outcomes for students. Relatedly, school lockdown drills have been criticized as potentially psychologically damaging to children. These drills appear to be out of proportion, given how uncommon school shootings actually are. Interestingly, while gun violence is the second most common cause of death among US children, it is usually not the result of mass shooting incidents. Nevertheless, mass shootings in schools remain at the forefront of conversations about gun violence.
Special Elections in CT
Following the resignations of three state senators and two state representatives who have joined the Lamont administration, CT will be facing five special elections to fill vacancies in the legislature next week. The relevant districts are the 3rd, 5th, and 6th Senate Districts, and the 39th and 99th House Districts. Over the weekend, candidates running for the 5th Senate District (consisting of Burlington, West Hartford and portions of Bloomfield and Farmington) engaged in a debate. The Special Elections will be held on February 26th.