Connecticut desperately needs an advocacy organization to truly promote the needs of citizens for education. I'm depressed reading this stuff.
There's a short blurb about the outcome of the Schaeffer v. Weast ruling that is perfunctory. BOE members who want a truer synopsis can read it here.
The Journal also listed The State Department of Education's "legislative agenda". The DOE obviously has too much time on their hands and is way overfunded because this cauldron of steamy stuff needs rethinking to say the least.
- Redirection of use of school facilities
They want some state grant money returned "to the state" if an educational facility is closed. My thought is, NO. Let's offer the taxpayers of that region a tax rebate or redirect the funds into an educational trust fund that can be applied to emergency situations. The state doesn't need any more money to waste.
- Turn-key school construction projects
Here they're saying new school facilities must (D'OH) have an architectural review and meet school space standards! Geezus, is the State brain-dead that in the year 2006 we'll be debating the issue of building schools that meet school space standards. Because if space is the issue I think they might as well debate the size of outdoor Porto-potties as well.
- Limitation of change orders
The state wants to limit to 5% "the amount of a change order". Basically, as written, this is meaningless since it doesn't limit the volume of change orders. What's needed is a rigorous walkthrough of orders in the first place and any nonsense better be caught early. Is that asking too much?
- Reporting on the condition of school facilities
This is about envoronmental concerns in schools. The article says "It is proposed to extend the reporting requirement [on long-term school plans and indoor air quality] to two years." Oh.
Well it would be nice if the State EPA would check the quality of air on the school grounds as well and get this expense off the backs of school budgets. And in the age of concerns about pandemics, I would like to see an environmental SWAT team investigating any and all instances of potential flu outbreak hot spots.
- Reading programs for priority school district students
Too little information to comment on this.
- Bullying Policies
The State wants teachers to become the misbehavior police "to include bullying on a school bus and outside of the school setting". Like schools don't have enough to do already. They forgot to include bullying while day-dreaming. Just what schools need more paperwork and bureaucracy.
- Special Education
The State wants to dump Connecticut's protections to comply to the Schaeffer v. Weast ruling. This would be a rollback of superior legal coverage for parents of speciual education children.
This is a stealthy, unnecessary manuever that lowers Connecticut's standards. parents need to let their State representatives know what they think about this.
- Energy Efficient School building design
Thirty years after Jimmy Carter... I'm speechless.