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State Board of Education Hears About Funding Concerns

Top Connecticut lawmakers continue to hammer out details of the state budget that will be put before the full House and Senate sometime in the upcoming weeks. One of the issues on which they will have to reach agreement is funding for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the state’s new evaluation system.

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the State Board of Education this week that there are significant differences in the amounts designated for implementation between Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget and the budget proposed by the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

“One item in the governor’s budget that the Appropriations Committee zeroed out was the Common Core,” Pryor said.

Pryor said that the governor proposed $18.3 million for both the implementation of the CCSS and the full roll out of the state’s new evaluation system.

The Appropriations Committee’s budget includes no funding for the CCSS and only $5 million for the full implementation of the new evaluation system. The state has budgeted $6.3 million just for the purposes of piloting the evaluation system this year.

Pryor acknowledged that the Appropriations Committee’s budget is a draft and that legislators are actively working to revise it.

“All the same, this would seem to be a significant problem,” Pryor said.  “The exclusion of CCSS dollars would appear to be a major oversight.”

Pryor said that there is support in the General Assembly for CCSS. As Governor Malloy also strongly supports the proper implementation of CCSS, indications are that funding will be restored in the final state budget to make for a smoother transition to CCSS and the new evaluation system.

Pryor said, “It’s essential we at least partially match districts’ financial effort.”

CEA leaders are monitoring budget negotiations at the Capitol carefully. It’s paramount to teachers that new education initiatives receive appropriate funding and support.

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