Education reform group folds into CT’s chief business lobby

The business-backed Connecticut Council for Education Reform – which lobbies at the state Capitol and is often a voice opposing the state’s teachers’ unions – is folding into the state’s chief business organization, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

“For a long time we’ve worked on very parallel paths. If we work together, we could be more impactful,” said Jeffrey Villar, the executive director of CCER.

The combined organization will operate within CBIA’s existing Education & Workforce Partnership. Villar has been named the vice president of education policy for the partnership, and Andrea Comer, the partnership’s existing executive director, will become the vice president for workforce strategies.

The CCER has an annual budget of about $1.2 million and four full-time employees. With the move to the CBIA, one employee who has office and human resources-related responsibilities will be let go. Villar said with the change, costs are expected to drop to about $700,000.