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Hartford, CT: State under-funds schools; principal calls for full-time mental health staff

Jan 19, 2018, Hartford (CT) Mirror: With no court mandate, what’s next for school funding? https://ctmirror.org/2018/01/19/with-no-court-mandate-whats-next-for-school-funding/ When Connecticut legislators last fall voted to phase-in changes in how the state funds public schools so more aid gets to the neediest districts, many touted it as the right thing to do. That bipartisan dedication to a new education funding formula – which promised to boost state aid by 19 percent, or $380 million, over the next 10 years – may soon start to fray, however. … That decision has made many educators pessimistic that state leaders will find additional money for schools in the absence of a court order. “It looks like we are all alone now,” said Jackie Simmons, the principal of Roosevelt School, an elementary school hit particularly hard by poverty in Bridgeport. “We have our district and that’s it. It’s just absolutely devastating. I feel gutted.” Simmons testified during the trial that led up to the Supreme Court’s school-funding decision that she doesn’t always have mental health staff in her school, which on one particularly troubling occasion forced her to drag a student in crisis to an ambulance. She still doesn’t have mental health staff at her school at all times, and her 24-student kindergarten classes lost their teachers’ aides. …