Saturday, August 19, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Senator Art Linares - Executive Order Strips Funding from Every School

In 2016 Senator Linares was named "Children's Champion"
Governor’s Cuts Decimate Local Education

Governor Malloy today (Friday) released a revised executive order that strips virtually all funding from every school in the 33rd State Senatorial District. We are mere weeks from the start of a new school year.

The need to adopt a new state budget that properly funds education and municipalities has never been more important. If we act now, we can stop these drastic cuts from taking place.

Months ago, Senate Republicans released a budget with a new Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula that actually increases education spending by $33 million in 2018 and $136 million in 2019. Our budget also provided funding for municipalities and did not call for requiring communities to make payments into the teachers retirement plan negotiated by the state.

While the adoption of the state employee union contracts negotiated by Gov. Malloy ties our hands and makes it impossible to achieve some of the increased savings originally proposed by Senate Republicans, the new ECS formula and municipal funding formulas can still be factors in a new state budget. I am calling on all of my fellow legislators to come together to work on this critically important issue.

I understand that legislators from different parties and different parts of the state will not agree on every aspect of a new state budget, but we have no time to waste. It’s time to put an end to the finger-pointing. We need to sit down, put politics aside, and look at what is best for all of the state of Connecticut. We need a budget that provides proper funding to educate all of the state students and that does not force municipalities to raise what are already too high property taxes.

The clock is ticking. Our children and communities are depending on us. We have to act now.

Art Linares

Senator Art Linares represents the 33rd State Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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