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Standing Up for Resources for Our Schools

CEA President Sheila Cohen

CEA President Sheila Cohen opened a news conference this morning by drawing attention to the consequences to children of the underfunding of state aid to schools.

Advocating for resources for students and schools was front and center today at CEA headquarters in Hartford as the Association hosted a news conference marking the release of the Summer 2013 issue of “The Connecticut Economy: A University of Connecticut Quarterly Review.”

CEA President Sheila Cohen opened the news conference, “This edition of the Quarterly enables us to put ideas on the table and have a conversation about the state’s priorities. Today’s dialogue encourages us to look at some big-picture issues. What matters to today’s teachers? What are our priorities and challenges? What fosters our best teaching and learning and what hinders it?”

Cohen continued, “Clearly, what fosters our best practices is resources—resources that deliver the opportunities our students deserve. Unfortunately, with the underfunding of the state aid to schools of over $1 billion dollars, too many children are not getting the opportunities that they need to succeed in a world economy.”

This issue of the Quarterly features a guest commentary by Mark Waxenberg, CEA executive director, and Ray Rossomando, CEA research and policy development specialist. The CEA commentary asks legislators to consider creating revenue streams dedicated exclusively to school funding.

Other timely articles in the new review consider the following.

  • Closing the $1 billion gap in education funding won’t be easy and could entail increases in the state’s sales, income, and/or property taxes, according to contributing editor Stan McMillen. With jobs of the future dependent on a workforce with advanced skills, “can we afford not to fully fund ECS?” McMillen asks.
  • Steven Lanza, the Quarterly’s executive editor, examines the effects of gun laws and gun ownership on guns deaths, as well as whether tougher gun laws drive arms makers and their jobs to other states.
  • In an analysis of yearly state data of violent and property crime rates from 1960-2010, Quarterly co-editor Dennis Heffley shows that Connecticut has experienced a significantly lower rate of violent and property crime than the nation as a whole during the 50-year period, contradicting claims about ever-rising crime. He cautions, however, that such a trend is not guaranteed and depends on the influences of education, population density, and other factors.
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