Cafero on Malloy’s State of the State Address

HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. today lauded Gov. Dannel Malloy for his proposal to overhaul the state’s education system, targeting low performing schools with additional resources and revamping the current teacher tenure provisions that protect instructors who are not doing their jobs.

“We applaud the governor for putting on the table bold initiatives that, if they become law, would result in significant improvements in public education. We have long supported changing the teacher tenure provisions that currently make it impossible to make needed changes in our classrooms and undermine the learning process.

“Similarly, giving school districts the option to reward those teachers that perform at much higher levels with merit bonuses – based on a variety of measures that include student achievement, teacher input and parental evaluations – is a commendable start to education reform.

Cafero said Malloy’s proposal to spend an additional $50 million on low performing schools is step in the right direction. But he added it will be a waste of money if the other reforms are not adopted, including recasting the education cost sharing formula that has been twisted over the years into a purely political document.

Cafero disagreed with Malloy on the state’s fiscal state, saying that all the fiscal projections presented over the last few weeks and months indicate that Connecticut is still on shaky fiscal ground despite the $1.8 billion tax hike Malloy pushed through the legislature last year without a single Republican vote.

He noted that Moody’s Investment Services downgraded the state’s credit rating on Jan. 20

Cafero said that none of the additional $329 million proposed additional spending including pre-payment of the state pension funds and education reforms will be possible if the projected budget deficits materialize. The $638 million surplus for the coming fiscal year will vaporize if the additional spending goes through if revenues continue to decline and built-in savings estimates do not prove true.

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