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Poll: Education Funding

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed an education reform plan for Connecticut. Do you agree that the bulk of the funding for this plan should go to the schools that are under-performing?

Connecticut schools have the largest achievement gap in the United States. The "gap" is defined as the difference in educational performance between Connecticut’s low-income and non-low-income students.

In his State of the State address yesterday, Governor Malloy proposed a plan to reform education from pre-school through college and professional job training programs. The plan includes allocating an additional $40 million to newly established "Alliance Districts" that will be made up of 30 of the state’s lowest-performing school districts.

To receive funding, each alliance district must successfully implement a reform plan subject to approval by the State Department of Education.

In the proposed plan, no town in the state will receive less funding from 2011-2012 levels but the bulk of the money will go to the Alliance District schools.

Patch wants to know what you think of Governor Malloy’s "Alliance District" plan. Vote in today's poll and share your opinion in the comments section.

This poll is shared across 10 Patch sites in South Central CT.

CuriousOrange February 09, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Not only the state but the media must pay more attention to improving language, math, and technical skills as well as the understanding of history and social sciences. I am appalled how many comments to the Patch don't know 'their' from 'there' and lack basic knowledge of government, law, politics, and history.
Patrick Madley February 09, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Such a good point, CuriousOrange! It is sad to see how little education some people have! CT education must be revamped so that the masses can become more educated and challenging individuals!
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 09, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I do not object to raising the educational level of lower school districts to that of the upper ones. The upper ones spend more percapita to be in that position. What does bother me is using state income from casino's and the lottery for any other purpose than education. Let's have an audit six times a year made public.
rubyc4 February 09, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Throwing money at schools does not necessarily fix the problem. Other factors such as teacher training and effectiveness, access to higher level courses, engagement, motivation, and level of expectations all influence the quality of education. A formula needs to be devised to provide equitable distribution of funds to benefit all students.
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM
In the beginning of communication in this country, we had hand written letters and penmanship was a skill. We went electronic with the telegraph and Morse code. Then thanks to Alexander Bell we had the telephone and still later the Radio telephone. For the first time we were able to communicate without the need to correctly spell or use perfect grammar. So what do we do - We go back to using a computer keyboard just so that we can show the world how ignorant we are. How many use automatic spell checker or grammer. I have "Dragon" that types what I speak, but I can type and edit faster than using Dragon. So have we made progress?
CuriousOrange February 09, 2012 at 02:24 PM
If you read the analysis 2010-11 Net Current Expenditures (NCE) per Pupil (NCEP) by the CT Dept of Education, you have to ask whether the range of spending -- more than twice as much per pupil in some comparisons -- has much to do with the quality of results. http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/dgm/report1/basiccon.pdf
John Pasnau February 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Educational results come when families that students live in put a high value on them. Parents, not school districts or society in general are responsible for making sure children become educated, functional adults.
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
John, I understand your point of view. but in poor school districts the parents fight to have food on the table, colthes for their children, a roof over their heads and an income to pay for these essentials. The next question is does education rate higher than the bare minimums? Folks in Fairfield for the mostpart have a greater income and can afford many luxuries of life, including sending their kids to college. Oh do I wish the playing field were level so that kids in all parts of our state received the same education. but alas it is not so. wealth does tip the scale for kids going to Ivy League schools rather than on student aid in a community college. Parents may dream high, as high as those who are wealthy, but they just don't have the opportunity to get their children the same education. What I'm saying is that we should strive to give the poorest an EQUAL opportunity to be educated alongside the wealthy starting in preschool.
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Money is a big factor in education. Poorer school districts cannot pay higher wages, have more administratorswith PhD's. Have modern schools fully equipted with the latest educational tools. Yes money can buy a better educational system, Just as it can buy a better legal defense or better medical treatment. I agree we need an equitable formula to distribute stae educational funds.
Charles Baltayan February 09, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Mr. Goldwyn is incorrect: Many poorer school districts spend more money per student than weathy ones and still perform poorly. New Haven and Hamden are both above $14,000/student while most suburbs are $12-13,000 and perform much better. Clearly spending is not the working answer.
John Pasnau February 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Correct Charles. I grew up in California. I went to public school with many Asian children from working class families. They consistently were the most over represented minority group on the honor rolls. They went home and studied. No TV, no video games, no "go out and play". Family income was not the determining factor. Family attitude was. Throwing money at this problem is not a solution. If it was we would have already solved it because we have been throwing ever increasing amounts at the school systems in America for the past 40 years.
Rich February 09, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Education alone does not improve your intelligence?? Curious Orange is very derogatory to people who had least have something to say. For the remark of putting people down is not very intelligent.
Robert Reynolds February 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Finland has the best education of the industrialized world... why???????? I spent some time there and was amazed at the lack of 'throwing money' at a social situation and marveled at how they changed their methods.. Where is the one time giant of the world in education now??-
Mario February 09, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Charles, you are correct that many poorer districts spend more per pupil than other districts (New Haven is over 19K per student), but using per pupil spending as the crux of your argument is flawed. It is a well known fact that per pupil spending for special needs students far outweighs the spending for regular education students. Some districts can spend between 70-100K for some individual students. This obviously increases the overall per pupil spending average. So a larger district like New Haven, which has more special education students, will likely have a higher per pupil spending. Take out the special education spending and replace it with the normal cost per pupil and you'll have a more accurate picture (and argument).
Charles Baltayan February 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe Special Education expenses are reinbursed from the state and are not a determining factor. New Haven's costs are high and their scores are poor, too. The designated special needs students are not factored in the scores either.
Mitch February 10, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Has anyone any information as to the source of this new-found money being used to fund this latest attempt to buy an education? I haven't heard of any new taxes (but I'd be willing to bet we will be hearing something soon) so does that mean it is still more unfunded spending by Dannel?
Mario February 10, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Even if they get some state assistance, school districts are on the hook for paying for services for special needs students. This is one reason many districts are very careful when making recommendations to families. As far as testing, only a small percentage of special needs stunts are truly exempt from state standardized testing. Most special education students take the the regular tests with some accommodations like extra time or alternate settings. Traditionally the scores are lower than the regular education students, but when you look at overall district or school performance, unless you disaggregate the scores, they are lumped together. Reporting standardized testing scores is far more complicated than what most in the public realize...NCLB is driven by cohort groups based on race, economics and special education.
Yooper February 10, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Not to mention "your" and "you're".
Rich February 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Dan/ the state does not have the money. He will take away more state aid from the small towns. He is doing that already. His Stamford a rich town gets more money he still has 6 brothers living there except for the one in jail.I think he went to jail for bank fraud. Special ed is paid by the towns and is a major part of the budget.
Bill Fasula February 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Where is the evidence that spending more money on education will make a discernible difference? The per pupil cost of education in Connecticut is $13,200, in 1995 it was $6,700. (http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/acrossstates/Rankings.aspx?ind=5199) Based on this, a reasonable person would have to conclude that spending more money on education does NOT improve the quality of education.
Rich February 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Bill Very good.
Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead February 10, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Patrick... this will only happen when they take politics out of education.
Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead February 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Ronald.... when the State of CT allowed gambling... proceeds from gambling did go directly and exclusively into the education budget. That policy does not exist any longer.
Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead February 10, 2012 at 05:28 PM
The cost to educate a child has increased dramatically because of the top heavy administrative costs. How many administrators, "non teaching" staff members and "specialists" are there in any given school compared to the number of teachers who teach a full day schedule?
Betsy W. February 10, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Throwing money at education is the easy way to fix a problem... it just doesn't work. You can have the best teachers and equipment, but if the parents aren't on board to help, the child will not have the support they need. Problems with the inner city schools are not just having the supplies or teachers, the kids themselves have to want to learn. And to compound the problem, parents and their kids are very transient and move from school to school. This constant interruption is very detrimental to a child’s learning. Understanding that inner city and suburban schools have different problems is the first step.
Skip Thomas February 11, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Keep throwing money at all the problems and CT will be Detroit in no time.

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