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"I'm 54 years old and my paycheck is $1,980 [a month]. I can't afford f****** health insurance."

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Teachers from across Connecticut convened at the state Capitol on Friday, asking lawmakers to not increase their pension obligations. Teachers call it the "teacher tax,” and they said it’s asking them to fix a system broken by years of under-funding by the state.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

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Connecticut has spent over $50 million helping schools beef up security since 2013. Some of that money -- $3.2 million -- has gone to private schools, which are reimbursed at a higher rate than many public schools.

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It’s a simple plan: Run. Hide. Fight.

That's what the Department of Homeland Security advises people to do when there’s an active shooter. Police departments also use this method when training school employees, students, and increasingly, aspiring teachers.

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Connecticut schools performed about the same as they did last year on the state's accountability system. 

Jim Finley - Principal consultant to the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF).
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A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision found that the legislature, not the court, is responsible for decisions around funding the state's public schools. But that sparked a debate between an advocate and a lawmaker over where the responsibility actually lays.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Brian Dunnigan is a web designer and co-founder of the Hawthorn Watch Co. in Vernon, Connecticut.

Coming up, we discuss the inspiration behind his business and talk about Connecticut’s role in manufacturing the hands of time.

But first: mastering the skills of traditional craftsmen.

We hear how an exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society celebrates the bond between artists and their apprentices.

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Across New England, freezing temps and blizzard conditions marked an unforgiving start to 2018.

This hour, we consider the factors underlying this extreme winter weather -- including the role of global climate change. 

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Connecticut is among the worst states in the country when it comes to being financially literate, according to a recent report by Champlain College.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

David DesRoches / WNPR


On a cold December morning, fifth-grade teams at Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford are making skyscrapers.

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Sixteen years after the U.S. entered into war with Afghanistan -- a look at one woman's efforts to inform and inspire young Afghan girls.

This hour, Shabana Basij-Rasikh talks about her upbringing under the Taliban in Kabul and about her experience co-founding SOLA -- the School of Leadership, Afghanistan

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Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

alkruse24 / Creative Commons

Sixteen years after the U.S. entered into war with Afghanistan -- a look at one woman's efforts to inform and inspire young Afghan girls.

This hour, Shabana Basij-Rasikh talks about her upbringing under the Taliban in Kabul and about her experience co-founding SOLA -- the School of Leadership, Afghanistan

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