Friday, February 10, 2012

Gentile lauds Malloy's education reform proposal

       State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, welcomed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal for reforming education in Connecticut from early childhood through college and giving an additional $50 million in Educational Cost Sharing funding to local school districts. 
      Under Malloy’s proposal, Ansonia would receive an additional $539,715, or 3.6 percent in ECS funding, increasing Ansonia’s total education grant to $15,571,383 for 2012-13.
     Derby would receive an additional $280,532 or 4.1 percent in ECS funding, increasing Derby’s total education grant to $7,146,221.
     “This is welcome news for both Ansonia and Derby,” Gentile said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues to achieve these improved numbers, which includes almost $200 more per pupil in Ansonia and over $175 more per pupil in Derby.” 
     In his State of the State address Wednesday at the State Capitol, Malloy outlined his vision for Connecticut that maintains recent efforts to stabilize the state’s finances and continues to pursue the job creation policies that have begun to spur economic growth. 
    Malloy also announced the final part of his education reform agenda – an overhaul of the state’s tenure system so that it rewards quality teachers, not just those who have been in the profession the longest. 
     “In these difficult economic times, it is critical that we invest in early childhood education and school districts that are the most challenged,” Gentile said.  “The governor’s plan to overhaul the teacher preparation program is critical to that success.”
     Malloy’s proposal addresses many areas in need of reform, including: increasing the access to and quality of early childhood education slots; allocating new funding and implementing new approaches that will improve low performing schools; expanding slots for public schools of choice including charter schools; removing red tape and other barriers that stand in the way of local school districts; repositioning vo-tech schools to promote job readiness and job linkages; and improving teacher preparation so professionals have the skills they need to excel when they enter the classroom.

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