State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) earlier this week colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation aimed at providing education mandate relief for municipalities.
“Since 2011, education officials and the mayors from Bristol and Plymouth have repeatedly asked state government to provide financial relief from expensive state unfunded mandates, and I am really pleased to report some of their requests have been granted by the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Betts, a co-sponsor of the bill. I hope this breakthrough of receiving legislative relief from state unfunded mandates is the beginning of a new attitude that will continue for the next few years. The financial savings from unfunded state mandates come at a crucial time as state funding to municipalities has become unpredictable and uncertain.”
“I proudly supported this bill throughout the committee process, where we heard from several superintendents and town officials during public hearings about the immediate need for education mandate relief in our communities,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, also a co-sponsor of the bill and member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee. “This bill will allow for flexibility at the local level, enabling our towns and cities to make decisions without burdensome state mandates and ensure the highest quality education for our children.”
The proposal, HB 7276, An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief, includes recommendations from school superintendents, administrators, teachers, Board of Education members, parents, and advocates.
The bill’s provisions include:
Eliminate the requirement for school districts to adopt a regional calendar
Require the state to purchase one digital school management and reporting software system
Provide a digital school management and reporting software system at no cost to districts; allowing districts to decide how they provide education to expelled students
Allow districts to focus training in procedures for handling highly sensitive behavioral issues on staff who have direct contact with students
The bill is supported by Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST). The measure passed out of the House of Representatives and awaits further action by the Senate.
The 2017 legislative session adjourns on June 7.