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Posted inNews

Magnet school costs strain state, local budgets

As parents strolled among rows of displays at a recent magnet school fair in Hartford, those who stopped at a booth for the city’s Classical Magnet School heard an appealing sales pitch. Tim Sullivan, the school’s high-energy principal, told them about the prep-school atmosphere at Classical Magnet, a place where college-bound teenagers study Latin, read […]

Posted inNews

A funding patchwork

As magnet schools sprouted across the state following the court order to desegregate schools in Hartford, so did a patchwork of financial formulas designed to pay for them. The state also has developed formulas to pay for charter schools and suburban school choice programs, two other strategies for promoting school integration. Here are the latest […]

Posted inNews

Legislators: Athletes should be benched after concussions

Two state Senate leaders want Connecticut to become the third state in the country to set standards for how high schools handle athletes with concussions. With the support of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the senators today proposed legislation requiring that athletes with suspected concussions be benched until getting medical clearance. “The mantra has become, […]

Posted inNews

Oz Griebel to run for governor

The Republican field for governor is about to grow by one: Oz Griebel, a Greater Hartford business leader, intends to announce his candidacy at noon Thursday on the north steps of the State Capitol. Griebel is the president and chief executive officer of the Metro Hartford Alliance, which serves as the region’s chamber of commerce. […]

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$2 billion later, do magnet schools help kids learn?

Connecticut’s Sheff vs. O’Neill desegregation court ruling led to a spurt in education funding, a $2 billion expansion of magnet schools and renewed attention to the state’s troubled urban districts. But did it help children learn? Yes, says University of Connecticut researcher Casey Cobb-and not just for inner city students, but for their suburban classmates […]

Posted inNews

Disclosure laws leave much undisclosed

State ethics laws provide only limited transparency into the financial dealings of Connecticut’s part-time legislators. To whom do they owe money? Disclosure is voluntary. How much stock do they own? Impossible to say. By contrast, Congress and a dozen states require lawmakers to disclose within ranges the amount of outside income they receive and the […]

Posted inNews

Lieberman endorses Bernanke

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman today endorsed the re-confirmation of the suddenly embattled Federal Reserve chairman, Benjamin Bernanke. On this score, the independent from Connecticut is standing with the Obama administration. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is running to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, is among the Democrats distancing themselves from Bernanke. […]

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Citizen-legislators juggle duties, jobs

Who has a state legislator on the payroll? Three public employee unions have one. So do Northeast Utilities, the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, Tweed-New Haven Airport, municipalities and non-profits that rely on state funding, and single-issue advocates like the Marijuana Policy Project. About 70 percent of legislators hold jobs outside the General Assembly, bringing both […]

Posted inNews

The General Assembly

The Connecticut General Assembly began its regular annual session on Feb. 3, when Gov. M. Jodi Rell delivered her budget address to a joint session of the legislature. Its constitutional adjournment deadline is midnight May 5. Balancing the state’s budget is sure to be the most contentious issue of the session, and the task will […]

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Connecticut’s economy

The most tangible of Connecticut’s dismal economic indicators may be the new computer server and automated phone lines recently ordered for a beleaguered corner of the state bureaucracy – the unemployment office. “It is simply overextended and overwhelmed by the load,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in January, answering complaints that the system has been […]

Posted inNews

Social Services

Services critical to thousands of state residents may soon face the budget axe in the coming weeks as the economy staggers and the state’s deficit mounts to an estimated half-a-billion dollars. Three out of every $10 the state spends goes directly to the Department of Social Services – $5.4 billion of the state’s $18.6 billion […]