Major Victory for Connecticut Children
Education bills, including Smart Start, heading to the governor’s office
Governor Dannel P. Malloy is expected to sign several bills that improve early childhood education. This past weekend, the state legislature approved the Office of Early Childhood, the School Readiness Expansion, and Smart Start—an historic plan to provide children with high-quality early education experiences and set Connecticut on a path toward universal pre-K. These education bills are now headed to the governor’s office.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said these efforts will help Connecticut reclaim its position as a national leader in public education. “Connecticut’s commitment to high-quality education for all students would have been little more than empty rhetoric unless lawmakers addressed universal pre-K with a giant step. Now that giant step has been taken to the benefit of children and families as well as the economic future of our state,” said Cohen.
Everything Connecticut needs is in the legislative approach:
- An articulated, solid program where high standards and best practices will be in place and certified teachers will not only be the common denominator but also the impetus for success.
- Coordination with other early childhood initiatives.
- Available funding.
- Respect for local communities, enabling them to maintain their autonomy for their own local approaches.
- Legislation that is sensitive to private providers.
Cohen added, “To Connecticut teachers, all this sounds like the perfect mix of program attributes. This is an initiative whose time has come, and it is the genuine reform that our children and our families deserve.”