Deficit mitigation plan cut one-third of funding from groundbreaking school turnaround program; ConnCAN asserts additional cuts will hurt students who deserve a high-quality education
New Haven, Connecticut – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly must protect the Commissioner’s Network from future cuts in order to ensure that kids across the Constitution State receive the high-quality public education they deserve, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN).
The Commissioner’s Network, created as part of last year’s groundbreaking education reform law (Public Act 12-116), aims to turnaround up to 25 of Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools, and help thousands of students receive the high-quality education they deserve, and in-turn, realize a brighter future.
By 2014-15, dozens of chronically low-performing schools – serving nearly 65,000 children – will be eligible to join the Commissioner’s Network. Four schools are already part of the turnaround effort, including:
- Hartford’s Thurman Milner School
- New Haven’s High School in the Community
- Bridgeport’s James J. Curiale School
- Norwich’s John B. Stanton School
“When it comes to bolstering Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools and providing students with better options, Governor Malloy has been the champion our kids desperately need,” said Jennifer Alexander, Acting CEO for ConnCAN.
The Network was established as part of Public Act 12-116 last May; in December, the General Assembly passed a deficit mitigation plan which slashed nearly one-third ($2,425,000) of the Commissioner Network’s budget – including $425,000 from planning grants. This mid-year cut could have a devastating impact on schools that are part of this program (as well as those that have plans to join next year).
“With Connecticut suffering from the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, our kids are counting on us to deliver on the promise we made last year to turnaround Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools,” said Jennifer Alexander. “If state leaders are serious about protecting the progress we made last year, they’ll protect this program and help thousands of kids across the state who are stuck in failing schools receive the high-quality public education they deserve.”
For Commissioner’s Network schools that have made critical staffing and programmatic decisions, this multi-million dollar overall decrease in funding to the program is devastating to the progress necessary for a successful turnaround effort.
“We owe it to all children in Connecticut to make sure they receive the best public education possible, said Jennifer Alexander. “There’s no room to weaken the Commissioner’s Network any further – thousands of students are holding out hope that state leaders will keep their promises.”