New, however, is the plan to make additional dollars available to something he calls Alliance Districts.
Alliance Districts will be groupings of the state’s 30 lowest-performing school districts.
Nearly $40 million will go to Alliance Districts – if they implement Gov. Malloy’s education reform strategies.
According to Gov. Malloy, an additional $4.5 million in competitive funding will be offered to all districts, with preference given to 30 Alliance districts, to fuel “ambitious innovations and deeper reforms.”
Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor commented, “The governor’s proposal acknowledges that resource constraints are one obstacle to many of our low-performing districts’ ability to improve their schools – while recognizing that increased funding alone will not improve student achievement…
“Rather, it is essential that these districts also embrace reforms rooted in best practices. The conditional funding model provides added resources and increased accountability. We look forward to working in alliance with these low-performing districts as they implement their reforms and elevate their achievement levels.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman added, “I strongly believe that every child in our state deserves the opportunity to get a quality education, regardless of where they live. That is why one of our first priorities after taking office was to fully fund the ECS for all towns, and that is why we are making this targeted investment – to give that equal chance to children who happen to attend an under-performing school.”
Gov. Malloy’s proposal identifies the state’s 30 lowest-performing school districts as participants in a Performance Alliance between these districts and the State, which makes them eligible for significant increases in state funding.
To qualify for these funds, Each Alliance District must submit a reform plan that includes elements of “reform strategies” in the governor’s proposal.
The State Department of Education will review these plans and recommend which ones should be approved.
Alliance Districts can choose from these “reform strategies”:
- “tiered district interventions” for schools based on school-level student performance;
- additional learning time, including extended school day and year;
- career ladders for school personnel;
- a professional development system “informed by educator evaluations”;
- plans to ensure K-3 reading mastery;
- coordination of early childhood education services;
- creating a community schools approach by establishing “wraparound services” for students with links to health and social service providers;
- and other strategies as determined by the Education Commissioner.
Alliance Districts will have new funding phased in at the rate of 2.47 percent of the gap between what they currently receive in ECS funding and the new formula amount – other districts will receive 1.4 percent of the funding amount gap – according to Gov. Malloy’s statement.
Posted Feb. 19, 2012
Related link: More details about Gov. Malloy’s plans for Education Reform http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?A=4010&Q=498746
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