Talks continue on education reform overhaul

Legislative leaders spent the afternoon behind closed doors negotiating which education reforms will move forward, while state legislators and lobbyists outside continued to speculate that the session will draw to a close in three weeks with no agreement.

“We are making progress,” Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said as he headed into a meeting at the State Capitol. “I think we’ll reach some agreement.”

The meeting Tuesday is the third in five days between the Malloy administration and top legislative leaders. Tuesday’s meeting was between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s chief of staff Mark Ojakian, the co-chairs of the education and appropriations committees and other top legislative leaders.

The major holdup between the bills approved by the appropriations and education committees and what Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed is whether teacher performance evaluations should help determine tenure and salary decisions. Leadership also will need to determine what authority the state’s education commissioner will have in intervening in the state’s lowest-performing schools.