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Letter: Lavielle Applauds Malloy's Education Plan

WILTON, Conn. – The following letter from State Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton, comments on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's State of the State speech.

The governor has presented a comprehensive, intelligent and well-structured education reform plan that addresses multiple facets of our education system. It is impressive in its scope, depth, and attention to detail.

If the reforms it proposes are not diminished through the legislative process, I believe that implementing it will enable Connecticut to make significant progress toward closing its achievement gap, which is the largest in the country. I hope it will also lead to more efficient use of financial resources in our education system, which currently has one of the country’s highest per student costs.

This is an ambitious program, but Connecticut, once a leader in education, deserves no less. If Connecticut is to adopt it, however, it is up to the General Assembly to ensure that the state has the means to do so without jeopardizing its financial condition or its ability to provide other essential services to taxpayers.

Today, I am not confident that Connecticut’s financial condition is secure enough to ensure that the state will have those means. It is far from certain that revenues, even after a historic tax increase, will exceed, or even cover projected spending, and that is without taking into account the funds needed to implement the education program.

As a General Assembly, we have a responsibility to eliminate that risk by reducing spending and making state government more affordable while preserving essential services.

If all of us from both sides of the aisle work together to make the state’s financial situation healthier and more predictable, we can make sure that the children, families and businesses of our state can benefit from this comprehensive education revitalization program, and we can do it in a fiscally responsible way. Connecticut’s future depends on it.

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