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The School and State Finance Project was founded with the mission to mitigate inequity in education funding and provide opportunities to Connecticut’s public school students no matter their race, ethnicity, community, or background.

We recognize that within this work, systemic racism plays a powerful and harmful role in the creation of inequitably funded school systems and the outcomes of students. We also recognize this same systemic discrimination is deeply intertwined in our state’s economic policies.

We are committed to explicitly addressing how systemic racism and racial injustice intersect with our work. We will consciously use the independence and self-acknowledged privilege of our organization to call for equity and fairness in all facets related to our mission, and will actively listen to — and collaborate with — the historically underserved and disenfranchised communities we are working to strengthen.

We continually work to ensure this commitment is reflected in the diversity of our staff, the data we analyze, the policies we develop, and the conversations we have with policymakers, stakeholders, and community members across Connecticut.

We know as an organization, and as individuals, we will always have learning to do, room to grow, and ways we can be better allies. We hope you join us in this commitment to build a more equitable state for Connecticut’s students, families, and communities.

Committed to Staff Diversity

Since its founding, the School and State Finance Project has been committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that respects the unique talents, individual perspectives, and lived experiences of each staff member. We are committed to building and fostering a racially diverse team that reflects our organization’s values, our commitment to equity, and the students and communities we work for every day. We know, however, we can — and must — do more to reflect this commitment.

As our organization changes and grows, we are actively seeking individuals who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. This includes making a conscious effort to seek job candidates from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities because we believe their life experiences, coupled with their professional expertise, are critical to our mission and the success of our organization. For more information about the steps we’re taking to acknowledge our privilege and improve the racial diversity of our team, contact us at info@schoolstatefinance.org.

Committed to Inclusive, Representative Data

The School and State Finance Project uses official public data from either the Connecticut State Department of Education or other cited state and federal sources to research, analyze, and develop policy. We primarily use data from state and federal sources because it is uniformly collected, which allows data to be comparable across school districts, municipalities, states, etc.

While we always use the most recently released available data whenever possible, data availability is a frequent challenge when examining education funding in Connecticut and across the country. There are often significant delays between data collection and data release by state and federal agencies. In some cases, data collections have ended and updates to older data sets are never released again. Additionally, at times certain data may be suppressed by a collecting public agency to ensure a student’s confidentiality — specifically if the student is part of a demographic that does not have significant representation.

Unfortunately, these data limitations may affect our ability to analyze trends or assess the impacts of policy decisions, particularly on historically disenfranchised or underrepresented groups, such as Indigenous American students, students who are gender non-binary, students who are English Learners, or students who are economically disadvantaged.

Although public agency data collection is out of our control, we continually strive to be more inclusive in the data we examine, and thoughtful about the lenses through which we analyze data and information. We also strive to develop and recommend thoughtful improvements to state and federal data collections and releases that promote increased understanding of historically disenfranchised or underrepresented groups, while ensuring student and individual privacy is maintained.

For questions about the data we use, or for suggestions about data points we should analyze, please contact us at info@schoolstatefinance.org.

Committed to Equitable, Fair Public Policies

Every day, our staff works to develop and advance data-driven and people-centered policy solutions that address some of Connecticut’s toughest education funding and state finance challenges. For many of these deep-rooted challenges, however, there is no magic answer or quick fix as they are the result of decades of discriminatory policies, institutional racism, and systemic inequity. This is particularly true when it comes to Connecticut’s education funding and property tax systems.

As we work to ensure equitable education funding for all of Connecticut’s public school students, we acknowledge how systemic racism, racial and economic segregation by town lines, and the state’s flawed property tax system intersect with this work. We are committed to uprooting the policies that have allowed this longstanding discrimination to occur, have disproportionately harmed students of color, and have hindered equitable funding for so long.