The town of Plainfield, as well as teachers and students in the town, have joined the injunction to prevent Governor Malloy from implementing his executive order and cutting $557 million in education funding to cities and towns, jeopardizing the education of students and the resources and financial well-being of the state’s municipalities and their residents.
That brings to three the number of municipalities joining CEA in the suit. Last week CEA announced that Torrington and Brooklyn, as well as teachers and students in those two towns—had signed on to the injunction. All three municipalities rank high in levels of poverty, and the cuts will cause irreparable harm to students, teachers, and public schools.
The suit seeks to halt the Governor’s executive order that eliminates education funding in 85 cities and towns, and severely cuts funding in another 54 towns, including those with high levels of poverty. These cuts would jeopardize school districts’ ability to provide quality education, thereby shortchanging Connecticut students’ futures.
“Since we announced this injunction, more than a dozen municipalities have contacted us asking how to join the action,” said CEA Executive Director Donald Williams. “Plainfield voted last night to officially be named in the suit.”
Plainfield First Selectman Paul Sweet noted that state funding cuts would cause serious setbacks for the town and its schools.
“This cut would be devastating to our small town. We simply cannot afford it,” said Sweet, reacting to the fact that education funding in Plainfield went from more than $15 million to $9 million, a cut of more than $6 million.
“We have already tightened our belt and eliminated a number of resources,” said Sweet. That includes closing the town’s early childhood daycare center, delaying or eliminating school programs, laying off teachers, reducing paraprofessionals’ hours, and implementing a townwide hiring freeze.
Under the Governor’s plan, Torrington’s education funding is cut by more than $20 million and Brooklyn’s is cut by more than $3 million.
Torrington, Brooklyn, and Plainfield are just three of more than 52 cities and towns that are at the bottom 40 percent of towns in wealth, that are not Alliance Districts, and do not have the funds to cover the cuts to the ECS funding proposed by the Governor.
The injunction is expected to be filed in Hartford Superior Court next week.
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.