© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

What Education-Related Bills Did Connecticut Lawmakers Pass?

Chion Wolf

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

A big winner, theoretically, is future community college students. Starting in the fall of 2020, qualifying students will be able to earn up to 72 credits for free. It would be paid for by a new online lottery, but that still has to be developed. Estimates have placed the cost at about $6 million a year.

State Sen. Doug McCrory is co-chair of the Education Committee.

"The devil's in the details," McCrory said. "I know there are a number of other states that are doing it. I just want to see the details. I'm not opposed to it, but I just want to make sure we can pay for it."

The legislature approved additional money for local school districts, and for magnets and charters.

Lawmakers also passed a bill requiring schools to teach African American and Latino studies in high school. And the state will redouble its effort to hire more teachers of color.

The General Assembly also voted to create a quasi-public nonprofit to manage the $100 million donation by Dalio Philanthropies to help struggling students. The state would be on the hook to invest $100 million over the next few years, but the structure of the quasi-public nonprofit has drawn scrutiny, as it would not be subject to state ethics and open records laws.

McCrory said he likes the plan, but the new entity should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

"There shouldn't be anything that we're hiding when we make a decision about how we want to spend money," McCrory said. "I don't know that they should be banned from FOI requirements. But I do want to make sure we have people on that board who understand the issues around education."

The big thing that never happened was school district regionalization. Early in the session, hundreds of people swarmed the Capitol to protest proposals that would have forced shrinking schools to consolidate. Legislation that would have required teaching climate change in schools also got tabled.

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR radio and its website. He also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students, and he starts the year with the lesson: “Conflicts of interest: Real or perceived? Both matter.” He thinks he has a sense of humor, and he also finds writing in the third person awkward, but he does it anyway.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content