To Jorge Cabrera, supporting our public education system is personal. As the husband of a public school principal and the father of two sons in the public school system, Jorge Cabrera sees the struggles of teachers and students every day. As Cabrera remarked at an education roundtable with Chris Murphy, “Every year my wife and her colleagues have to do more and more with less and less; less staff, less resources, less support from our state. This is not an issue that is unique to her school district. It is a problem every public school in every town has to grapple with and it is the major reason I am running for office. I believe the best long-term investment we can make as a state and as a society is to give all children a world class education.”
Jorge recognizes that our public education system not only provides for the children of today, but for the future of our entire state. Connecticut should put the wellbeing of our students and teachers above all else by providing adequate and reliable funding to the school systems most in need. Our leaders in Hartford must make definitive steps to ensure our public schools’ success.
Connecticut needs a new Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula that looks realistically at the population of towns. Currently, public school districts are left to the whims of an ECS grant that is neither sufficient nor reliable. When ECS fails to deliver proper funding, schools across the state suffer as educators attempt to teach amongst dwindling resources. Our public education system should address the needs of our most vulnerable populations, not just those from the wealthiest towns. ECS must take into account the number of families on HUSKY, unemployment, and disability benefits as well as the number of special needs children in the district. Further, Jorge believes that ECS should be fully funded to prevent the occurrence of furlough days, postponing maintenance, and closing schools.
Many of our elected officials in Hartford fail again and again to prioritize education. Our current republican Senator George Logan voted against funding ECS in both 2017 and 2018 and supports a gubernatorial candidate that would cut 11 billion dollars out of our budget, which would cripple our education system further. While Jorge Cabrera (1) believes that supporting education means supporting teachers, current Republican Senator George Logan has voted to reduce state contributions to teacher’s retirement and against creating a pay schedule for early childhood educators. He was one of only (2) two senators to vote against developing a plan for universal pre-school in committee. (3)
The difference is clear. We need new leadership that believes in supporting our children by supporting public education.
(1) House Bill No.7501,(as amended by Senate “A” (LCO 10069) and “B” (LCO 10072)), Sects. 128-134, 136. 137-138. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=7 501
Here are some additional committee votes related to ECS and Special Education Funding: House Bill No.7270. 3/22/2017. 2017, https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=7 270 (An Act concerning the education cost sharing grant formula for fiscal years ending June 30, 2018 and June 20, 2019) Senate Bill No.1007. 3/24/2017. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=1 007 (An act concerning the reporting of data relating to special education expenditures and the intentional under budgeting of special education)
(2) House Bill No. 7501, Amendment LCO No. 10072, Sect. 152-153, https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=7 501, House Bill No. 7155. 3/22/2017. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=7 155
(3) Senate Bill No. 954. 4/11/2017. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2017&bill_num=9 54