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

Wall Street firm: CT schools ruling helps state, hurts cities

A major Wall Street rating agency said the recent Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that the state provides at least a minimally adequate education in all school districts is a “credit positive” for state government, but a “negative” for its largest cities. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

With no court mandate, what’s 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. In the wake of a state Supreme Court decision this week, however, that bipartisan dedication to a new education funding formula – which also promised to boost state aid by $380 million over the next 10 years – may soon start to fray. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Supreme Court rules education in poor communities meets constitutional standard

In a split decision that probably brings to a close a 12-year legal saga, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state is providing students in the state’s most impoverished school districts with the minimally adequate education the constitution mandates. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Pressing question for CT: A state tax break for private school tuition?

The federal tax overhaul may have triggered an automatic state tax break that would allow parents to avoid paying state taxes on some of the money they put aside to send their children to private K-12 schools. Forces already are lining up to back or resist a change. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Expelled students can no longer be sent home with homework and no plan

State law requires local education officials to provide expelled students with an “alternative educational opportunity during the period of expulsion,” but has been silent on what the quality of that education must be. This week, school districts were given standards for the programs they must offer students. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Top state education officials say there is nowhere left to cut

Top state education officials said they have concluded that cuts would place the state in danger of violating federal laws, including those governing the education of students with disabilities. State aid to local districts already has been cut enough, they said. But the state is anticipating large budget deficits, and the administration would not commit to protecting education from reductions. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Controversy surrounds closure of juvenile prison

The state’s lone prison for young males convicted of offenses not serious enough to land them in an adult prison ceased admissions last week as the state moves forward with plans to shutter it by July. The decision to stop admissions now has caused a rift between the governor and legislative leaders from both parties, and concerns from stakeholders about what will happen without a locked facility for juvenile offenders. Here’s what the closure could mean for youths going forward. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

His Connecticut education improvement plan: ‘Look to Massachusetts’

Mark McQuillan says he knows what Connecticut needs to change if it is to improve the education provided to students from impoverished homes: Look to Massachusetts. The former state commissioner of education worked in Massachusetts before coming here, and during this Sunday conversation with The Mirror, he explains why he was unsuccessful in putting Connecticut on the same path that led to Massachusetts’ success. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Here’s how Massachusetts helped one troubled school district improve

In Lawrence, a once-booming mill town that Boston Magazine labeled the “City of the Damned” five years ago, schools have shown remarkable improvement since the state intervened in 2011. Last of three stories in a special report. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Massachusetts spends less per poor student than we do and gets better results

In both states spending on education has increased greatly over the last 25 years – with one key difference: Massachusetts tied increased state aid to ambitious reforms it credits with spurring remarkable advances in student achievement. Connecticut relied more heavily on local educators to use increased state aid to improve things. Second of three stories in a special report. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Massachusetts is like Connecticut, but does a better job educating the poor

Massachusetts over the last 20 years has moved to the top of the national rankings for achievement by students from low-income families while Connecticut has lagged. Here’s how they did it. First of three articles in a special report. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,