At a time when school districts must be expanding their efforts to cooperate regionally, Governor Dannel Malloy’s new budget eliminates state funding for a vital and successful regionalization operation – the Regional Education Service Centers.
The six Regional Education Service Centers (RESCs) provide Connecticut communities and school districts with a wide variety of important cooperative services that save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. While most of the costs are picked up by the districts, the state of Connecticut provides about $600,000 a year to support these critically important networks.
The RESCs develop and manage a wide variety of cost-effective, high quality programs including efforts to regionalize special education services, professional development, minority teacher recruitment, English language learner efforts, transportation and a myriad of other programs.
To eliminate RESC’s would be disastrous for Connecticut’s schools, so it is important to see Malloy’s budget scam for what it is – simply dumping responsibility to fully fund the Regional Education Service Centers onto the backs of local taxpayers.
The situation leaves Connecticut students, parents, educators, school districts and taxpayers in a losing situation.
If Malloy’s proposal is adopted it will mean towns will have to pick up the tab for the RESCs translating into program cuts in the home districts or higher local property taxes.
As the RESC’s explain on their website;
Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) were created more than 30 years ago by legislative mandate to help districts communicate and collaborate. Some years later, a formal Alliance of Connecticut’s six RESCs was established. RESCs are public education agencies whose main purpose is to “furnish programs and services” to Connecticut’s public school districts. RESCs’ cost efficient, cooperative efforts have saved money for Connecticut school districts and have enabled schools to expand services beyond what they could have accomplished alone. Each RESC is:
- Locally governed by member boards of education
- Cost effective in delivering programs and services to school districts
- Committed to helping local school districts improve teaching and learning
- Responsive to local needs and interdistrict opportunities
- Flexible in creating, adapting, or eliminating programs
The RESC Alliance works with the Departments of Children & Families, Corrections, Education, Mental Health & Addiction Services, Mental Retardation, Public Health, Social Services and Board of Education & Services for the Blind (BESB) and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) on statewide issues and projects such as Technology Training, Beginning Educator Support Training, and Early Reading Success. RESCs are also instrumental in obtaining federal grants and funding. As Connecticut’s “First Stop” in education, RESCs keep districts abreast of new mandates and best practices through:
Cost effective and competent management in a public context
High value programs for a reasonable public expenditure
Dependable delivery system
Strong communication network with local school systems and communities
Successful implementation of legislatively assigned tasks
Thirty years successfully developing vital services and Malloy simply eliminates the funding.