What’s more important when it comes to helping students in high-poverty districts succeed—increased funding or better leaders?
The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) spent the first two months of the landmark education funding trial currently underway in Hartford making the case that public schools need more funding in order to adequately and equitably serve all students. The coalition is made up of students, parents, towns, and education organizations and includes CEA.
Lawyers for CCJEF have argued that students in high-poverty districts–including Bridgeport, Danbury, East Hartford, New Britain, New London, and Windham–lack the critical educational resources they need to succeed. Additionally, their educational opportunities are significantly unequal and inequitable when compared to those of students in wealthier districts.
The state’s turn to present its defense began last week, and lawyers called Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell as their first witness. Wentzell laid the foundation for the state’s argument, saying that, while resources are important, it’s the leadership at the state, district, school, and classroom level that is ultimately critical for student success.
“I think leadership is a lot more important than the money,” Wentzell said, “though we’re always going to have some resources we need to steward.”
Lawyers for the state will be making the case that Connecticut already devotes significant funding to schools and has a proud history of local control over education and education funding. They also plan to argue that education reform measures already underway in the state have significant potential to improve student achievement. Read more