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Connecticut Post: Local leaders, educators, students push state lawmakers: 'We've got to get more funding'

Ken Dixon, Connecticut Post

April 27, 2023 - less than 1 minute

Municipal officials, educators and students from around the state converged on the State Capitol Thursday, demanding more funding for public schools and higher education at a time when the distance between poor cities and wealthy suburbs combined with regressive property taxes is widening the gap in learning and success.

Majority Democrats acknowledged that additional spending depends a lot on next week's anticipated report on tax collections, as well as the position of minority Republicans, who confirmed that they will present their own budget proposal next week.

Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said he would seek bipartisan approval for a two-year, $50.9 billion budget with additional funding for schools and nonprofit agencies.

For big-city leaders such as Justin Elicker, the gap has never been larger between New Canaan, where he grew up, and New Haven, where he is the mayor. New Canaan currently spends $23,000 per student, while New Haven's budget is $17,500 per student. During a morning news conference in the Capitol held by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Elicker joined other leaders, including Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick in stressing the need for an additional $300 million for public schools over the next two years.

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