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Thu December 8, 2011
Preschool Advocates Call on State to Withdraw Motion in School Funding Lawsuit
Advocates for early childhood education are calling on the state to withdraw its latest motion in a major school funding lawsuit. The state wants to exclude preschool programs from the case.
Governor Malloy is seen as a champion of preschool education, says Maggie Adair, director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.
"He did not cut anything in early care and education or early childhood funding for that matter in the last session. He’s proposed 1,000 new preschool slots over the next couple of years"
So she says a recent motion by the state’s attorney general to remove preschool from consideration in an important school finance lawsuit contradicts the Governor’s education policies.
"Mountains of research, study after study demonstrates that preschool has a positive impact on a child’s readiness for kindergarten, in the early years, later in school and in their adult lives. The motion filed to exclude preschool runs counter to decades of educational research and Connecticut’s bold public investment in early childhood education."
Attorney General George Jepson says his job is to protect the state’s interest. Jepson insists that neither he nor the Governor question the potential benefits of preschool, and have been longtime advocates for early childhood education.
"But with hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money at stake, my office has an obligation to the people of the state of Connecticut to clarify exactly what the constitution means in this case. It seems to mean in our judgment what it says: elementary and secondary schools, not preschool."
The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding filed a lawsuit in 2005, challenging the way the state funds public schools.