The state's budget-writing committee poked another hole in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education reform agenda Thursday, as its recommended budget significantly cuts the funding to bankroll his plan. The Education Committee earlier this week downgraded the policy changes.
"What we don't agree upon is how much goes into sort of vague areas of what we hope to be educational improvement. And so what we're hoping is that we can get started with educational improvement, and have a clearer plan as we move forward... We've put money there, just not as much as the governor has," Sen. Toni N. Harp, D-New Haven, Appropriations Committee co-chair, when asked what the biggest difference is between her budget and Malloy's.
Malloy had asked for $22.9 million to turn around as many as 12 of the state's lowest-performing schools starting in the coming school year. More than half of that would have gone to increasing teacher and principal pay to attract the best staff and to potentially get teachers to work a longer school day or year. The committee decided that was too much, instead recommending $10.8 million.
The governor had also proposed increasing charter school reimbursements by $2,600 for each student they enroll and opening three new charter schools. The committee has other plans, instead increasing charter school funding by $1,100 per student and not paying for three new charter schools. It's unclear if $1,000 of that increase counts the money legislators expect local districts to start sending their charter schools for each of their student those schools enroll.