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Connecticut Business Community Lauds Education Reform Objectives, But Questions Cost

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One big concern for the business community is how much these changes will cost, at a time when the state is already in a budget crunch.

The state’s largest business organization has given a cautious welcome to a landmark court ruling, which orders a complete overhaul of Connecticut’s education system. 

Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s ruling this week in an 11-year case about the equity of school funding was comprehensive and radical. He ordered the state to come up with a plan to completely revamp how it finances education, what standards students must achieve, and how staff are compensated.

"This is long, long overdue," said Andrea Comer, who heads up the education and workforce partnership of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. But while she believes Moukawsher hit all the right areas for reform in his ruling, she’s concerned that he asked for answers within 180 days.

"I think with such a broad and wide-ranging directive, six months is a really, really short timeline to accomplish all of that," she said.

Comer also wants to see the state reach out to bring in as much expertise as it can, to get its reform plan right. "I'm hoping that there would be some community engagement around this, so that it's not just about the anecdotal, and it's not just about the squeaky wheels," she told WNPR, "but there really is some thought given to how do we solve these very many problems."

The other big concern for the business community: just how much will all of this cost, at a time when the state is in a seemingly permanent fiscal crisis.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.
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