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PRESS RELEASE 1-12-2021

Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Releases Transformational Blueprint for State’s Public Schools

15-year plan addresses disparities in funding, educational access, curriculum,
second-language and digital learning, special education, assessment methods and more

Contact: Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, frabinowitz@capss.org, 860-236-8640 ext. 160

Download the CAPSS Blueprint to Transform Connecticut’s Public Schools here. For a hard copy of the plan, contact CAPSS at (860) 236-8640.

Hartford, Conn., January 13, 2021  – To address historical inequities in Connecticut’s public education system and provide all students with equal educational experiences, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) has released the CAPSS Blueprint to Transform Connecticut’s Public Schools, which includes 30 recommendations the organization deems critical to Connecticut public education over the next 15 years and beyond.

The CAPSS Blueprint’s recommendations touch on every financial, educational and operational aspect of schooling, with the aim of equitable funding, economies of scale, and resources for all school districts.

According to Paul Freeman, newly appointed President of CAPSS and Superintendent of Guilford Public Schools, the long-range package of recommendations has an annual cost of approximately $78 million in additional State funding beyond what has already been planned. “This represents only a 2.5 percent increase over CSDE’s current $3 billion general fund budget over five years,” Freeman said. “CAPSS believes this plan is both reasonable and responsible in light of the educational needs in our state.”

“Two years ago, we began to discuss how we could address the educational and fiscal challenges we continued to hear about from our public school leaders,” said CAPSS Executive Director Fran Rabinowitz, a long time teacher, former superintendent of Hamden Public Schools and former interim superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools.

We realized we needed to design a comprehensive and long-term set of recommendations, understanding that true improvement in public education in Connecticut requires far more than funding. Our Blueprint addresses educational equity, higher achievement by all, innovation, state and local governance, leadership from CSDE, accountability, health, and safety. The plan we’ve created is intended to meet the needs of every public school child in Connecticut.

CAPSS leaders agree that while there has been some progress over the last 40 years, many poor towns with both high educational needs and higher local tax rates still lag behind in per-pupil spending and student achievement. Meanwhile, the state’s percentage contribution to educational expenditures has remained the same, even as needs and costs have increased. COVID-19 has exacerbated learning gaps and the digital divide for the neediest students and has placed their communities in an even more precarious position. The CAPSS Blueprint’s 30 recommendations include increasing the state’s share of funding, targeting needs, acknowledging roles and responsibilities and holding all involved accountable.

“While releasing this blueprint has been difficult in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying stress on the State budget, our mission – to lead in the continuous improvement of public education by advocating public policy for children – requires that we no longer wait. Our state’s children deserve it,” said Rabinowitz.

Download the CAPSS Blueprint to Transform Connecticut’s Public Schools here. For a hard copy of the plan, contact CAPSS at (860) 236-8640.

Contact: Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, frabinowitz@capss.org, 860-236-8640 ext. 160

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