The estimated costs for renovating and expanding Holland Hill Elementary School in Fairfield have grown from $9 million to $21 million since planning began in 2015. But a town watchdog group called Fairfield Taxpayer published a lengthy critique of the project on January 8 making the case that the project needs to be curtailed in light of the increased costs and fiscal problems at the state level which have resulted in decreased education and school construction funding to towns.
This year, Connecticut lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they are committed to bringing jobs and prosperity back to our state. That starts with saying “no” to another tax increase, and “yes” to dismantling the barriers that hobble job and economic growth. During the 2017 legislative session, the Yankee Institute will be working with legislators, state officials and stakeholders in the following areas
Ms. Coates and her husband had enrolled their two older children in private Catholic school, but that eventually became a financial impossibility. Instead of moving out of Bridgeport, where most schools in the city were rated far lower than those in surrounding areas, she decided to tackle the situation head on. Ms. Coates showed up at a Bridgeport Board of Education meeting, where she witnessed parents at odds with each other and a system that was not working for her kids.
The unfortunate consequence of Connecticut’s policy choices is that children who are born and raised in low-income households face daunting challenges and, research shows, have trouble overcoming them. While Connecticut’s overall student performance appears strong (87% graduation rate), the achievement gap betrays the truth; upper class families boost overall numbers and urban youth are left stranded in poor educational environments.
Bridgeport ranked highest in the nation for “family flight” as middle income families flee urban areas with failing schools, according to research done by Dr. Bartley Danielson, associate professor of finance and real estate at North Carolina State University. Danielsen examined 100 metropolitan areas across the United States and compared census data for families with children aged 0-4 and 5-9. His findings showed that families whose children reach school age relocate out of areas with poor performing schools.
As the Connecticut Department of Education mulls whether to close two technical high schools to deal with an expected $1.2 billion deficit, the state recently showcased a massive renovation project at the Emmett O’Brien Technical High School at a cost of $94 million, nearly double the national cost of constructing a brand new high school.