The Parent Express - a party bus loaded with education materials, books, and volunteers - took to the road on Wednesday to visit school children and parents in 10 different cities and promote the joys of learning for both children and their parents.
Connecticut teacher pension contribution may rise 1 percent under new budget, but still remain below national average
Lawmakers may increase the teacher pension contribution rate from 6 percent of a teacher’s pay to 7 percent as part of a new, compromise budget package. Although proposal has drawn strong criticism from the state’s teachers’ unions, Connecticut teachers would still be paying less than the 8 percent national average teacher pension contribution and far less than the 11 percent contribution required in Massachusetts.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s education cost sharing executive order maintained flat funding for the Bridgeport school system, but that wasn’t what Bridgeport Superintendent Aresta L. Johnson was hoping for, according to her budget talking points. Despite receiving the same amount of state education funds as last year, the Bridgeport school system has implemented a hiring freeze and an operational account freeze for nonessential and contractual accounts as the school system faces rising costs.
On Sunday more than 150 parents, children and education advocates gathered in Middletown for the annual March for Education, meant to celebrate education and learning in Connecticut. The march occurred on the same day Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order took effect, zeroing out education funding for 85 towns across Connecticut.
Fewer and fewer students are enrolling in Connecticut’s schools but that hasn’t stopped education budgets from growing and per-pupil costs from sky-rocketing to previously unheard of levels, according to figures compiled by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments. The median, inflation-adjusted per-student cost in Connecticut has grown 35 percent between 2006 and 2016, largely due to declining enrollment coupled with growing budgets.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order, which zeroes out education funding for 85 school districts in Connecticut, could result in massive property tax increases - even to towns that are already struggling - if the state legislature cannot reach a budget deal by October 1. The property tax increases needed to deal with the cuts could mean up to a 40 percent increase to the mill rate for some municipalities, equalling 2.5 percent of the average household income in those towns, according to data compiled by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.