Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline won two first prizes from the national Education Writers Association for her work in 2012 – one in beat reporting for her overall education coverage, and the other in investigative reporting on a series of stories revealing questionable monetary and personnel actions taken by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. In 2016, she was a finalist in the EWA competition for single-topic coverage for her reporting on how schools are funded in Connecticut. Before coming to The Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. She has also worked for Congressional Quarterly and the Toledo Free Press. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College. She and her husband, son and two dogs live in Hartford.

Recent Posts

Ben Barnes under consideration for higher-education post

Ben Barnes, who has overseen Connecticut’s budget as the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management from the first days of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration, is on a short list of candidates interviewed for the vacant post of chief financial officer at the state’s system of community colleges and regional universities. Continue Reading →

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New tax break for private K-12 tuition begins this school year

A new state tax break is available this school year to help parents pay for private K-12 school tuition – a development triggered by the federal tax overhaul. The state has for years allowed parents to avoid paying state income taxes on up to $10,000 each year that they put into a college savings account, known as a 529 CHET account. In addition, they have not had to pay taxes on the money when it is withdrawn or on the investment earnings when they use it to pay for college. Now, those state tax benefits have been extended to allow parents and relatives to also use these 529 accounts for private, elementary and secondary school. That’s because the federal tax law that was changed last December on these accounts extends a federal tax benefit to include K-12 tuition. Continue Reading →

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More low-income, Hispanic students taking AP classes, narrowing disparities

The state has seen a drastic increase in participation in AP courses among Connecticut students from low-income families and — most notably — among Hispanic students. Nearly 2,000 more Hispanic students in Connecticut took at least one Advanced Placement exam last school year compared to five years ago – a 79 percent jump. Continue Reading →

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Financial aid for ‘dreamers’ becomes a reality in Connecticut

The Connecticut House of Representatives gave final passage Wednesday night to legislation that opens financial aid in the state to “dreamers,” the undocumented immigrants brought here as children, only to find themselves priced out of higher education as they come of age. The bipartisan vote was 91-59. Continue Reading →

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Parties sharply divided over higher ed, labor costs, transportation

Democrats and Republicans offered sharply contrasting spending plans for the next fiscal year. While they shared some common ground involving municipal aid and health care for the elderly and disabled, major disagreements involving labor costs, higher education and revenue stand in the way of another bipartisan budget agreement. Continue Reading →

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Competing CT budget plans rely on April tax bonanza

Democratic and Republican legislators offered competing visions for the next state budget Friday, but both effectively dipped into this spring’s unexpectedly high income-tax revenues to salvage key programs for towns and social services, drawing a sharp rebuke from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Continue Reading →

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Legislators predict financial aid for undocumented will finally pass

Legislation that would make some undocumented immigrants eligible for college financial aid will win enough votes to pass the General Assembly after years of unsuccessful attempts, legislative leaders predicted Wednesday. The state Senate passed the bill Wednesday on a vote of 30 to 5, and it now heads to the House. Continue Reading →

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Juvenile center, ‘costly relic of Rowland era,’ closes

The Connecticut Juvenile Training School — the product of bid-rigging, outdated thinking and poor execution by the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland — closed Thursday as the last three young occupants left the sprawling detention center for home or private residential facilities. Continue Reading →

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