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CCER: Appropriations Committee Budget is Shortsighted on Teacher Evaluations and Quality Pre-school

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Nicki Perkins
EMAIL: Nicki.Perkins@ctedreform.org
PHONE: 203-506-5799

CCER: Appropriations Committee Budget is Shortsighted on Teacher Evaluations and Quality Pre-school 

New Haven, Connecticut – Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), today released the following statement in response to the release of the Appropriations Committee budget:

“CCER is pleased that the Appropriations Committee adopted the majority of the Governor’s proposed budget. This demonstrates a continued commitment by our legislators to providing every Connecticut child with a great education. In particular, CCER strongly supports the inclusion of funding to create an additional 1,020 pre-school slots for low-income children.

“However, the Appropriations Committee budget, as compared with the Governor’s proposed budget for 2014-2015, makes two changes that concern CCER.

“First, the Appropriations Committee budget reduces the amount of funding dedicated to teacher evaluation and support by $4 million to $9.5 million. This is even less funding than the program has had this year. Such a reduction is unwise when Connecticut’s districts are now embarking upon such an important stage of implementation. When I was a superintendent, my district piloted the evaluation and support system, and I know how important it is to make sure that teachers and administrators have high-quality support and professional development. Removing the funding for high-quality professional development will be detrimental to our educators, who are working hard to make the evaluation system a success.

“Second, CCER is also concerned that the Appropriations Committee budget cuts funding for the pre-school Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) by $2.5 million. CCER strongly supports the State’s investment in pre-school for low-income children. However, in order for such an investment to be sound, we must make sure that we are actually providing high-quality opportunities that will improve educational outcomes for children. We cannot safeguard this investment without a QRIS to help us monitor the quality of pre-school slots, and to help parents make informed decisions when enrolling their own children in pre-school programs.

“I am disappointed that the Appropriations Committee cut funding in these two critical areas. I hope that the legislature will consider the long-term impact of these decisions and provide this critical funding to the QRIS and teacher evaluation and support system.”

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About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color and their peers. We do our work primarily by advocating for state policies and state and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. We support reforms that advance best practices and innovations in education to ensure that every child has an exceptional education. Through public awareness, education, and engagement, we seek to broaden support for these efforts and affect long term sweeping change in the public education system. Our Board of Directors is comprised of prominent business and civic leaders who are deeply committed to our mission.

For more information on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org.