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  • The Medicare Savings Program rescue plan is fiscally irresponsible (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    Today, both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly are expected to vote on a bill that would reverse new eligibility restrictions for the Medicare Savings Program, which provides financial assistance to low-income seniors and those who are disabled for medical expenses not covered by Medicare. However, if preventing its previous decision to eliminate or reduce financial assistance for tens of thousands of Medicare recipients is a priority for the General Assembly — and it is certainly a worthy priority and an important and critical program for many in our state — then the legislature should find the funds needed in a fiscally responsible way that does not further increase the deficit and jeopardize other budgetary commitments.

  • A new window into Connecticut’s finances (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    Three years ago this month, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes stated Connecticut had “entered into a period of permanent fiscal crisis.” That fiscal crisis, which was decades in the making, looms to this day, and continues to present state and local policymakers with difficult decisions. However, to properly address these challenges we must first understand them and know what problems our state must solve. This starts with understanding the data.

  • Democrats’ school funding plan ‘not legitimate, logical or responsible’ (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    For nearly four decades, our state has struggled to equitably fund its public schools, and now Connecticut counts itself as one of only four states in the nation not currently using a formula to distribute state education aid. Connecticut has arrived in this position because instead of addressing the school funding challenges our state faces, state and legislative leadership have too often resorted to temporary fixes, patchwork policies, and flawed formulas. The budget proposal released by House Democrats on August 23, unfortunately, continues this trend by failing to include a comprehensive school funding formula that is logical, equitable, or even remotely realistic. While there are certainly aspects of the House Democratic budget proposal worthy of discussion and debate, its formula for distributing state education aid — a formula which would require the state to increase state education aid by more than $800 million above the current level and take more than 50 years to fully fund — is not one of them.

  • Setting The Record Straight On A Special Education Co-op (CTNewsJunkie)

    Op-ed

    The Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative (the Co-op) is a special education finance system that allows the state and local governments to share in special education costs. Our organization, the Connecticut School Finance Project, in partnership with the University of Connecticut’s Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research and Neag School of Education, developed the model to help increase stability and predictability in special education funding for school districts, while ensuring decisions in service delivery and identification remain local.

  • Malloy’s school funding plan does not go far enough (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    For more than two centuries, Connecticut has been colloquially known as “The Land of Steady Habits.” But our state’s tradition of arbitrarily, illogically, and inequitably funding its public schools is a bad habit Connecticut desperately needs to break. Unfortunately, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent budget proposal does not go far enough to address the fundamental flaws of Connecticut’s school finance system. Instead, the proposal continues the decades-old bad habit of funding education through a maze of unconnected, arbitrary formulas and does not ensure that all of Connecticut’s schools and districts have the resources they need to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities for all of our state’s more than 500,000 students.

  • OP-ED: A practical solution to funding special ed in Connecticut (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    Concerns about the special education finance system have consistently been raised by educators, parents, community leaders, and policymakers alike as we’ve traveled across the state speaking in communities about Connecticut’s school finance system. These concerns, coupled with feedback we have received over the past year, led us to develop a new model for funding special education, called the Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative (the Co-op). The Co-op allows state and local governments to share in the cost of funding special education through a cooperative model that uses actuarial principles to increase stability and predictability in special education funding for school districts, while ensuring decisions in service delivery remain local.

  • OP-ED: Voters should keep education in mind when they head to the polls (New Haven Register)

    Op-ed

    With Election Day less than three weeks away, roughly two million registered Connecticut voters will soon have the opportunity to go to the polls and cast their ballots for the candidates and policies they believe will push Connecticut toward an even brighter future. While November 8 brings an end to an election cycle that, at least on a national level, has been consumed by harmful rhetoric and vitriol, it also provides an opportunity for Connecticut voters to let policymakers know what issues matter most to them and their communities. When voters go to the polling booth this November, Connecticut’s school finance system should be an issue in the front of their minds.

  • OP-ED: 'Connecticut needs a school finance system that makes sense’ (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    In his decision on Wednesday in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v. Rell, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher made a lengthy, wide-ranging ruling on education and equity in our state. At the heart of Judge Moukawsher’s historic ruling is the affirmation of what educators, parents, students, and community leaders have been saying for nearly four decades—Connecticut’s school finance system is irrational, inequitable, and illogical. We can now add unconstitutional to that list.

  • OP-ED: Connecticut needs a new way to identify low-income students (CT Mirror)

    Op-ed

    Across Connecticut, children’s access to opportunities plays a pivotal role in their success in school. Unfortunately, children who live in low-income households often have reduced access to opportunities, and often they need additional support in school to ensure they have an equal shot at success. From unstable housing and food insecurity to limited language exposure and parents working multiple jobs, students from low-income households may face a variety of potential challenges that impact their learning. As a far too often result, these challenges can contribute to lower educational outcomes for low-income students. This rings particularly true in Connecticut where student educational attainment has shown to be strongly correlated with a school district’s median family income. So how is Connecticut identifying low-income students and making sure they have the resources they need for educational opportunities equal to those of their more affluent peers? The answer: not accurately.

  • OP-ED: Connecticut must fix its school finance system (New Haven Register)

    Op-ed

    As the state has grappled with difficult fiscal challenges over the last several months, Connecticut and its policymakers have been forced to reexamine how the state operates and make difficult budget decisions. Still, more challenges lie ahead as we work together to ensure Connecticut has a strong economy and that all of our citizens have the opportunity to thrive. One critical challenge Connecticut must address is fixing our state’s school finance system.