Right now, federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan is joining Gov. Dannel Malloy and members of the state’s congressional delegation in announcing that the state has won a waiver on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. In case you think we’re special, other states also getting the waiver today are Delaware, Louisianan, Marylanbd, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. That makes a total of 19 with 18 more applications in the pipeline, according to the White House. The waivers confirm that the state is making serious efforts on education reform and focusing on the neediest pupils. The waivers exempt the state from meeting the thorniest requirements of NCLB.
Archive for May, 2012
The nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis just issued its monthly update on the budget crevasse.
“We are currently projecting a $249.2 million deficit in the General Fund,” the report says. “This reflects a net improvement in the projected deficit of $35.4 million since last month. Projected expenditures have decreased by $29.4 million and projected revenues have increased by $6.0 million. These figures do not include the setting aside of funds for GAAP, since the law requires this reserve only if available surplus exists….
However, changes contained in PA 12-104 (the FY 13 revised budget) make other funds available to further improve the FY 12 budget balance (by up to $285.5 million). These include:
- permitting the use of up to $222.4 million initially set aside to repay debt associated with Economic Recovery Notes issued to pay off any FY 12 deficit (Section 28);
- allowing for the FY 11 unexpended carry forward funding in the Reserve for Salary Adjustments account to lapse in FY 12, thereby reducing the FY 12 deficit by $78.1 million (Section 33).
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, out of state at a Democratic Governors Association function, announced Thursday that he has signed legislation enhancing penalties against those of desecrating, stealing or selling war and veterans’ memorials.
“Over the past decade, Connecticut has lost nearly 70 service members in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, joining the countless number of heroes who lost their lives heroically defending our nation and protecting the freedoms we hold dear,” Malloy said. “The fact that anyone would knowingly destroy a monument honoring our war heroes is nauseating and revolting. Let this new law serve as a reminder and a deterrent for those who don’t understand the true value of what these memorials mean for our country.”
The legislation was approved after a series of incidents in Derby, Shelton and Ansonia, in which the commemoriative metal plaques wewre stolen and presumably sold for scrape. The law, took effect with the governor’s signature, classifies the criminal acts as Class D felonies punishable with $5,000 fines.
Gov. Dannel Malloy this morning attended the 2011 awards ceremony for the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. He was introduced by State Education Commission Stefan Pryor, who almost pronounced the governor’s first name correctly. He put the accent on “dan-NELL,” instead of “DAN-ell.” Be that as it may, they posed for photos with dozens of kids in the big front room of the State Museum, inside the State Library across the street from the Capitol. There, along the walls, are individual portraits of most of the state’s governors. The Blogster just had to commune briefly with John “Why Should I Resign if I’ve Done Nothing Wrong” Rowland, the disgraced governor who resigned in July of 2004 on his way to a 10-month stint in federal prison. Later, in the Q & A with Malloy, he was asked the tough question.
Reporter: “Do you feel safer knowing that there is a security camera in there next to John Rowland’s portrait.”
Malloy puts his head down and laughs.
Gov. Dannel Malloy, caught in the Capitol this morning, didn’t tip his hand on the campaign-finance reforms that will reach his desk before the end of the month, following passage Tuesday in the House and Senate: “I haven’t had time…I’ve been a little busy with education, so I have plenty of time to take a look at it and will take a look at it in due course.”
“The ACLU is right,” Godfrey, the immediate past president of the Council of State Governments said in an interview later. “It’s overly broad. It’s inviting litigation. It needed a lot more work.” He said that the e-mail-voting section, where voters would waive the rights of privacy in exchange for faxing their votes or sending pdf files, would be ripe for computer fraud. “No one has come up with totally secure software. This is just a disaster waiting to happen.” He supports the disclosure sections of the bill that were drafted to counter the influence of so-called super pacs. The bill hit the Senate floor at about 10:45 Tuesday night, but its future, following an anticipated vote of approval, is murky, since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy isn’t happy with the legislation.
But House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, never saw the bill. Speaking to reporters at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, they said that a hold-up in the deal spiked a tentative noon news conference where Gov. Malloy was going to announce a deal. It got pushed back to 10 p.m. Cafero said that on Sunday, he and McKinney were shown a two-page summary of what is now about a 200-page bill. “The language that did come out did not jibe with the two-page memorandum,” he said. “It was off in several substantial areas and the governor wanted assurances that those disagreements, or those inconsistencies, would be corrected, as did Sen. McKinney and myself.” The 10 p.m. newser was based on verbal agreements on changes to the bill, he said. “We cannot stand before the public nor our respective caucuses and say we’re on board a bill we haven’t seen. As a matter of fact, it would be fair to say that the governor has not seen it, that probably at this point, 99.9 percent of the General Assembly has not seen this bill.”
McKinney: “I don’t believe any legislator, except maybe one or two in the Democratic caucus, has seen the bill yet. We were given a summary of an agreed deal yesterday; a working draft today which differed from that agreement and were told went through a series of changes throughout the day and evening. And there’s a final version that we’ve yet to see.”
Sharon Palmer, president of the state’s American Federation of Teachers, notes the evluation portion of the new education bill will be limited to a “pilot” in about 10 low-performing school districts. She said that if Gov. Dannel Malloy had reached for that in his original bill, he might not have been met with a statewide teacher uprising since announcing his plan in February. “The new system, the PEAC progress, isn’t done,” she said. “You just can’t do that many districts and do them well. So they’re going to pilot some, which makes a lot of sense because you have a brand-new system.” The summary given to reporters a few minutes ago says: “The final bill requires annual performance evaluation of principals, administrators, and teachers, based upon the consensus framework developed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council.” Currently, there is no such framework. “Tenure will be awarded on the basis of effective practice as informed by the new system of evaluation,” the summary goes on.