Malloy, Republicans, State Budget, State Debt, State Deficit, Taxes Malloy, Republicans, State Budget, State Debt, State Deficit, Taxes
At last week’s State Bond Commission meeting Governor Dannel Malloy responded to a question by admitting that that his administration was informing Wall Street analysts that Connecticut would be dramatically increasing the use of the state’s credit card this year.
The CT Mirror’s story about the stunning announcement was entitled, “Malloy to Wall Street: Expect state borrowing to jump 40 percent this year.”
There wasn’t a lot of other media coverage about the statement despite the fact that it is probably the single most important thing that Governor Malloy has said since he falsely claimed, during last year’s gubernatorial campaign, that there was no state budget deficit this year and that he would be able to solve next year’s projected $1.4 billion budget deficit without raising taxes or cutting vital services.
- Recall that with less than a week to go before Election Day 2014, Malloy said the state was enjoying a budget surplus, although we now know that this year’s budget deficit has added up to over a quarter of a billion dollars and continues to get worse.
- And as to his “Read My Lips” promise of no new taxes and no cuts to critical programs, the proposed budget that Malloy announced in February included $900 million in additional tax revenue, shifting about $300 million in existing spending onto the state credit card, along with a series of devastating and irresponsible cuts to essential state services.
But forgetting that Malloy didn’t tell the truth about the status of this year’s state budget deficit while misleading voters by promising to do the impossible when it comes to next year’s budget, the latest news that he plans to put another $2.4 billion onto the state credit card this year should be front page, top of the fold, large font headline news in every media outlet in the state.
Although the amount of state debt already makes Connecticut one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to how much debt our taxpayers must pay back over the next two decades, we now have a governor who increased the amount of annual borrowing from about $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion a year in his first term and has now announced that he is planning to borrow forty percent more this year.
As Keith Phaneuf explained in his CT Mirror article last week,
“Malloy notified the State Bond Commission on Tuesday that he increased what is commonly referred to as the “soft bond cap” from $1.8 billion to $2.5 billion for the 2015 calendar year.
That’s up almost 40 percent from last year, and almost 80 percent from 2012, when Malloy had set the cap at $1.4 billion.”
In an attempt to explain why the state would borrow such an excessive amount this year, Malloy told reporters,
“[M]oney continues to be relatively cheap and that can’t be guaranteed to last forever…Let’s try to capitalize on getting the cheapest possible money that we can when we have that opportunity.”
To put that statement into perspective, imagine calling a family meeting and telling your spouse and kids,
“Hey everyone, we just got a credit card in the mail with a low interest rate so you should all go out and buy all the things you want because we don’t know how long we’ll have access to low rates like these…and then when your youngest asks, but dad, how will we pay for the high monthly minimum payments that will be due each month for the next twenty to thirty years, you pat him or her on the head and say, I’m impressed you understand that point but don’t worry about it, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
In response to Malloy’s breathtakingly irresponsible announcement, the General Assembly’s Republican leaders on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee pointed out not only does Connecticut rank as one of the most indebted states — per capita — in the nation, but observed that, “During these tough fiscal times we should be reining in borrowing.”
Of course, after their political shot at Malloy and the Democrats, the Republicans on the Bond Commission then voted for all the new bonding that was on the agenda for this month.
It should be noted that Malloy’s obsession with excessive borrowing is hardly new.
As the CT Mirror’s story notes,
“In the last two years leading up to the 2014 gubernatorial election — which Malloy won by defeating Greenwich Republican Tom Foley — the governor and the legislature’s Democratic majority also moved hundreds of millions of dollars of operating expenses onto the credit card to avoid pre-election tax hikes.
These steps included:
Refinancing debt to push $392 million in payments owed then until after the election.
Bonding $173 million in new municipal aid.
Bonding $57 million for pollution abatement and stem cell research grants that previously were paid for out of the operating budget.
Borrowing an extra $39 million so that debt payments tied to converting state finances to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles could be deferred until after the election.
And finally, as if to prove just how out of touch all of Connecticut’s leaders are on the issue of the growing burden they are placing on Connecticut’s taxpayers by borrowing more and more money, the CT Mirror story concludes with,
“Malloy spokesman Devon Puglia countered Wednesday that Republican lawmakers are not critical of state borrowing whenever the funds support projects in their home districts.
“I’ve never seen such hypocrisy out of the GOP,” Puglia said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Both Frantz and Davis [The Republican’s two top leaders on the General Assembly’s Finance Committee] serve on the bond commission and have voted to approve financing for various projects in their communities, or in those of their colleagues…”
Great, just great….
Rather than address the real problem, the Democrats and Republicans spend their time hurling insults at each other while they all just keep using the state’s credit card knowing that it is Connecticut’s residents who will end up having to pay off the enormous cost of the principal and interest they are racking up.
CT MIRROR, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes CT Mirror, ctcapitolreport, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, State Deficit, State Taxes
While some tend to fall back on the phrase, “I told you so” much too often, the truth is that rarely does one get a chance to point to someone else confirming an individual’s claim that that they really were right when others were wrong….
So with that as the backdrop and propelled by an opportunity to brag, tempered by an appropriate dose of humility, I am proud to report that ctcapitolreport, the state’s leading news aggregation website, is sporting a headline that reads – The Oracle: Pelto: Told you so…
The reference is to my long-standing and on-going observation that in order to balance next year’s Connecticut state budget, provide sufficient revenue to fund critical services and begin to reduce the unfair tax burden on Connecticut’s middle class, Connecticut’s elected officials must find the courage to actually do what is necessary and that means appending Connecticut’s tax code to require that the state’s wealthy begin to pay their fair share of taxes.
Longer term Wait, What? readers will recall that this blog does cover issues other than the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Testing Scheme.
In fact, another primary focus of this blog has traditionally been Connecticut’s irresponsible fiscal policies that have resulted in a truly regressive tax system in which the state’s lowest income families pay about 12 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle class pay about 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes and the wealthy, who have been coddled by both Democrats and Republicans, only pay about 5 to 6 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
While the inequities in Connecticut’s tax system have been growing for decades, the problem has become particularly severe as a result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s unending fiscal gimmicks and his unprecedented dedication and addiction to irresponsible fiscal policies.
The article the website www.ctcapitolreport.com is referring to is a news story posted early today by Connecticut’s premier budget reporter, Keith Phaneuf of the CTMirror.
Phaneuf has written another MUST READ story for those who want to understand Connecticut’s state budget and how Governor Dannel Malloy lied his way through the 2014 gubernatorial campaign by claiming there was no state deficit and that if he was re-elected we would eliminate the projected $1.4 billion projected deficit for next year without having to raise taxes or cut services.
Keith Phaneuf’s latest article is entitled “Tax hike ideas abound at the Capitol,” and can be found at: http://ctmirror.org/2015/03/23/tax-hike-ideas-abound-at-the-capitol/
The CT Mirror piece concludes with the following;
Former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto, D-Mansfield, who tried unsuccessfully to petition onto the 2014 gubernatorial ballot, predicted last summer that the big budget deficits projected for the next two fiscal years would eventually force a progressive income tax debate this spring.
“Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair in state income tax is the only responsible way to balance the state budget and begin to reduce the heavy and inappropriate burden on Connecticut’s middle-income taxpayers,” Pelto said last week. “Failure to require the rich to pay their fair share will mean unacceptable cuts in vital services and hurting the middle class and all working families by shifting even more of the tax burden onto local property taxpayers.
Or, in other words, “I told you so.”
Budget Cuts, Malloy, Sarah Darer Littman, State Budget, Taxes Budget cuts, Malloy, Sarah Darer Littman, State Budget, Taxes
As we know, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy promised that he would not propose or accept any tax increase if he was elected to a second term and then went ahead and proposed over $900 million in revenue “enhancements” in his budget address this week.
Malloy also used his re-election campaign to promise that he would maintain funding for local cities and towns and would not cut vital services.
On budget day, in the same document he proposed flat funding Connecticut’s Education Cost Sharing education funding formula; he cut about $70 million from a variety of important public education programs that assist local schools as they seek to serve some of Connecticut’s most vulnerable children.
And as if all of that wasn’t revolting enough, Malloy reserved his most drastic and draconian cuts for some of the state’s most important social service programs.
In a powerful and MUST READ commentary piece, Sarah Darer Littman lays out the truth about Malloy’s devastating budget plan in her commentary piece at the CTNewsjunkie;
Governor’s Budget Ignores Evidence, Hits Vulnerable (By Sarah Darer Littman)
Last week, after two years of hearing testimony, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission issued its draft report.
One hundred and thirty pages of the 198-page report relate to mental health issues, and the importance of building “systems of care that actively foster healthy individuals, families and communities,” particularly in light of research showing that “approximately half of young people qualify for some behavioral health diagnosis by the time they reach 18.”
Yet less than a week later, when Gov. Malloy revealed his biennial budget for 2016-2017, it was as if the Commission had produced an expensive paperweight, for all the attention it received from the administration.
According to an analysis by CT Voices for Children, the “Children’s Budget” – state government spending that directly benefits young people – makes up only a third of the overall state budget, yet over half (54 percent) of the governor’s proposed cuts come from programs affecting children and families.
That’s before we even get to health care and education.
The Sandy Hook report specifically mentioned the importance making it easier for families to obtain mental health services for young people. Yet the budget reduces funding for the Young Adult Services program by $2.7 million (3.3 percent) and reduces funding for school based health centers by $1 million (8.5 percent).
In the Department of Education, the governor plans to eliminate funding for “lower priority or non-statewide programs” by $ 6.2 million. Here we’re talking about programs such as Leadership, Education, Athletics in Partnership (LEAP); Connecticut PreEngineering Program; Connecticut Writing Project; neighborhood youth centers; Parent Trust; science program for Educational Reform Districts; wrap-around services; Parent Universities; school health coordinator pilot; technical assistance – Regional Cooperation; Bridges to Success; Alternative High School and Adult Reading; and School to Work Opportunities. Not only that,he’s cutting $6.49 million annually for Extended School Building Hours and Summer School components of the Priority School District Grant (i.e. grant program for districts with greatest academic need).
Wrap-around services, longer school days, and enrichment for students, particularly in the more disadvantaged districts, were something Malloy touted when he was selling his education reform package back in 2012. “It’s not as if we don’t know what works,” Malloy said in an article in the New Britain Herald: “wrap-around services, longer school days and longer school years, Saturday enrichment options.”
On top of what Malloy said, there’s over 100 years worth of research on summer learning loss. It disproportionately affects lower-income students whose parents can’t afford to send them to pricey summer camps or other enrichment activities. What’s more, the effects are cumulative, contributing to the achievement gap.
Take the time to read Sarah Darer Littman’s entire commentary piece.
You can find it at: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_governors_budget_ignores_evidence_hits_vulnerable/
Malloy, State Budget Malloy, State Budget
Over the day and half since Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy announced his state budget plan, advocacy groups across the political spectrum have begun to weigh in on the unprecedented list of cuts he has proposed to a broad array of programs and services.
In the coming days and weeks Connecticut residents will learn a lot more about the impact of Governor Malloy’s proposed budget and Connecticut’s General Assembly will have to craft a final budget to vote on and return to the Governor for his signature.
But as the author of Wait, What? let me just take moment to make a personal observation…Perhaps I’ve lost all perspective about what it takes to be a civilized society or maybe I really am nothing but a big spending liberal, but for someone who thought they had seen it all, the following proposed cut in Malloy budget exceeds even my cynical sensibilities or expectations of what to expect from Dan “Dannel” Malloy.
If you look deep, deep inside Governor Malloy’s $40 billion proposed budget you’ll find a cut that ends up leaving one asking….
Really? Is this how Dan Malloy is seeking to fulfill his duty as Connecticut’s highest ranking elected official?
The budget cut purports save $1.7 million next year and another $1.7 million the year after that.
The language describing the budget cut can be found within the budget of the Department of Social Services and its reads as follow,
- Reduce Burial Benefit Provided Under the State Administered General Assistance Program
By explanation the text adds,
“DSS provides up to $1,800 for funeral and burial expenses of indigent persons who pass away without ability to pay for the cost of a funeral and burial…This proposal reduces the SAGA burial benefit to $1,000, which is more in line with surrounding states.”
My first response can’t or shouldn’t be printed in a publicly accessible blog.
My second was a feeling of bewilderment that Governor Malloy and his budget director, Ben Barnes, would explain away this cut by saying that the reduced burial benefit of $1,000 is “more in line with surrounding states.” [Wait, What?]
And my third reaction was to take to the Internet only to discover the following;
A cremation service in New Haven advertises that it will take care of the task for $1,275. But that of course doesn’t include any flowers, a certified copy of the Death Certificate, a “residential death requiring an extra man,” mailing of ashes within the United States, scattering of ashes, pacemaker removal, notice of death to the newspaper or a private one hour viewing, let alone any burial plot or tomb stone.
Another Connecticut company provides a package for $1,495 but that package “does not include a service or an urn.” Nor does it cover the costs of disposal of the ashes, the burial plot, tomb stone etc.
While another nearby company promotes a basic package for only $975 which includes, “the removal of remains from place of death, transportation to crematory, cremation container, sanitary care of deceased, storage of remains for mandatory 48 hour waiting period or until cremation can take place. They state that memorial urns are extra and go for $105 and up. Price does not include burial plot, tomb stone, etc.
And yet another firm, whose cost is well in excess of $1,000, will actually throw in the obituary for free, but explains that, “We will hold the ashes for up to 10 business days for the family to pick up between Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 up,” but adds that, “after 10 days, there is a holding fee of $85/month or portion thereof.”
Now, it can certainly be said that restraining extravagant government spending is an important and laudable goal but Dan Malloy’s proposal seems more in line with the legendary Ebeneezer Scrooge was once observed,
“If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
I mean really Dan? A fellow Connecticut citizen falls on hard times an dies and your budget proposal is to cut the allocation for funeral and burial expenses of indigent persons who pass away without ability to pay for the cost of a funeral and burial from $1,800 to $1,000?
All in order to save $1.7 million a year in a two year, $40 billion budget?
This being the 21st Century in the state with the highest per capita income in the United States.
American Federation of Teachers, Connecticut Education Assocation, Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit
Governor Malloy took to the “main stage” today to outline his proposed state budget for the next two years.
Hidden inside his $40 billion plan is what may very well be Dan Malloy’s most profound statement of principle since becoming governor of Connecticut.
Although Malloy’s initial budget documents cover up some of the details, it appears that Malloy’s proposed state budget increases public funding for Connecticut’s charter school industry by approximately $37 million over the next two years. If true, thanks to the governor’s largess and extraordinary loyalty to Connecticut’s charter schools, these privately-run, but publicly-funded corporate entities will be wallowing in an increase in funding that is well in excess of a 33 percent by the second year of this proposed biennial budget.
At the same time, Malloy actually froze Connecticut’s Educational Cost Sharing school funding formula meaning that any inflationary increases and program enhancements that take place in any Connecticut public school will come on the backs of Connecticut’s local property taxpayers.
Without significant increases in local property taxes, most of Connecticut’s public schools will be forced to reduce programs and even lay off teachers during the coming school year.
But as incredible as it is that he failed to provide any additional funding to the state’s school funding formula, is that Malloy went even further and cut record amounts of money from Connecticut’s other educational program…all while showering Connecticut’s charter schools with additional public funds.
In total, Malloy intends to cut nearly $70 million from educational programs that directly impact Connecticut’s public school children.
Malloy’s cuts include the following;
Eliminate Funding for Extended School Building Hours and Summer School Components of the Priority School District Grant – Malloy cuts $6,494,451 for each of the next two years
Eliminate Funding for “Lower Priority” Education Programs – Malloy cuts $6,202,175 for each of the next two years
Eliminate Funding for Healthy Foods Initiative –Malloy cuts $4,806,300 for each of the next two years
Reduce State Funding for Commissioner’s Network Schools – Malloy cuts $4,700,000 for each of the next two years
Eliminate State Funding for Non-Sheff Interdistrict Cooperation Programs –Malloy cuts $4,576,591 for each of the next two years
Limits on Magnet School Expansion and Funding – Malloy cuts $1,926,693 next year and $6,949,043 the following year
Reduce Funding for Youth Service Bureaus and Eliminate Youth Service Bureau Enhancements – Malloy cuts $1,309,568 for each of the next two years
Eliminate Funding for Certain Education Programs – Malloy cuts $1,262,000 for each of the next two years. Particular cuts include certain Adult Education programs, Interdistrict Cooperation programs, after School Programs, summer school pilot programs and the K-3 Reading Assessment Pilot program.
While Malloy’s truly anti-public education budget plan will come as a shock to Connecticut’s parents and taxpayers, it is Connecticut’s public school teachers that must truly be reeling from the news.
Both the American Federation of Teachers and the Connecticut Education Association endorsed Malloy’s re-election campaign and urged teachers to cast their votes for the so-called Democrat.
The Connecticut Education Association leadership actually overturned their own endorsement committee that had previously recommended that the CEA refuse to endorse either gubernatorial candidate, after meeting with both Malloy and Foley.
The American Federation of Teachers went even further. Not only did the AFT leadership at the national and state level endorse and campaign with Malloy, but the AFT donated more than $600,000 to Malloy’s re-election operation.
Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes
During his campaign for re-election, Governor Dannel Malloy told Connecticut’s voters that there was no state budget deficit this year … [Despite the fact that a sea of nearly $250 million in red ink appeared after Election Day.]
And Malloy’s most consistent and outlandish claim was that he would not propose or accept any new taxes if the citizens of Connecticut re-elected him to a second term.
But in this morning’s exclusive CT Mirror story on the new state budget plan that Governor Malloy will be proposing later today, we learn that the Governor will call for more than $900 million in new revenue over the biennium, of which about $500 million of that amount will come about by repealing pre-election tax breaks that Malloy proposed and signed into law during the past two years. Malloy is also apparently reneging on the tax cuts he said he would institute if re-elected.
CT Mirror Reports;
“The biennial budget Gov. Dannel P. Malloy intends to propose today would erase a two-year, $2.5 billion shortfall with $1.6 billion in spending cuts and $900 million in additional revenue, an attempt to say he is equitably spreading pain while keeping a pledge not to raise taxes.”
Malloy, a Democrat re-elected last fall, is proposing a three-pronged approach to his second fiscal crisis in four years: deep spending cuts, combined with additional revenue raised by deferring promised tax cuts and boosting tax receipts without changing rates.
With a proposal that relies on $900 million in new revenue, Malloy can expect a vigorous debate over what constitutes a tax increase. According to administration officials, the budget creates no new taxes, nor does it raise rates, but it generates additional revenue by restricting tax credits, eliminating exemptions and making other tax rule changes.
Malloy campaigned on a pledge not to raise taxes and to deliver more than half a billion dollars in tax cuts over the next two fiscal years.
The governor’s plan bolsters net revenues by more than $900 million over the next two years combined. It does deliver a promised sales tax exemption for over-the-counter medications, worth about $29 million.
More on Malloy’s State Budget as it becomes available later in the day.
Gubernatorial Election 2014, Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes Gubernatorial Election 2014, Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes
So it’s finally official….
During last year’s gubernatorial campaign Governor Dannel “Read My Lips” Malloy repeated over and over again that he would not propose or accept any tax increases if the voters of Connecticut elected him to a second term in office.
[See 5/6/14 Wait, What Posts – Malloy’s “NO TAX” pledge will send Connecticut into the abyss or 9/3/14 Foley and Malloy are just plain wrong on taxes]
Of course, with the state of Connecticut facing a significant and growing budget deficit this year and a projected shortfall of at least $1.3 billion in next year’s state budget, the claim was never anything other than a hoax.
But hoax or not, Malloy not only stuck to his “no-tax” campaign promise but claimed that there wasn’t even a state budget deficit this year nor would there be a state budget deficit next year.
Well yesterday, the luster surrounding his absurd “no tax” pledge came off as Malloy confirmed that in his state budget address tomorrow he would be proposing to repeal the state law that eliminates the sales tax exemption on clothing costing less than $50, a law that he signed last spring and was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2015.
Malloy told reporters, “There is a reality (that) this is a tough budget. No one is sugar coating that.”
According to media reports, Malloy is still insisting that he is not raising taxes – although in the real world – if you propose a bill that requires Connecticut consumers to pay a 6.35 percent sales tax rate on clothing costing less than $50 — when they would not have done so without that proposal – it is called raising taxes.
But Malloy’s retort is that although consumers will actually have to pay the sales tax on clothing – starting July 1, 2015 – when they would not have otherwise been required to do so – the sales tax rate will drop from 6.35 percent to 6.20 percent on Nov. 1 2015 and will drop again to 5.95 percent on April of 2017, more than two years from now.
According to Keith Phaneuf at the CT Mirror,
“The governor tried to emphasize Monday that his focus on tax relief right now, given the limited resources available to him, “has to be middle-class-centric.”
But last May, when nonpartisan analysts were projecting the same post-election fiscal woes that they are reporting now, the governor was adamant that no taxes would rise after the election.
“I gave at the office,” he quipped, implying that the $1.8 billion in tax hikes he signed to close a big deficit in 2011 were sufficient.
As Phaneuf observes in his latest article, what’s changed?
“Since next year’s projected deficit – $1.3 billion – is the same as it was when Malloy took his no-tax-hike pledge…”
What has changed?
Well, Malloy got himself re-elected and now reality is starting to set in for the Governor and the people of Connecticut..
You can read more at; http://ctmirror.org/2015/02/16/malloy-coy-on-whether-his-plans-add-up-to-a-tax-increase/
Achievement First/ConnCAN, Charter Schools, Jonathan Sackler, Malloy, Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven, New Haven Independent, State Budget, State Deficit, Stefan Pryor, Steve Perry Capital Preparatory Magnet School Achievement First Inc., Charter Schools, ConnCAN, Jonathan Sackler, Malloy, Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven, State Budget, State Deficit
[This is the first in a series of articles about Achievement First Inc.’s proposed New Haven Elm City Imagine School]
Aka – The Charter School Industry’s step by step dismantling of public education in Connecticut.
This Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Governor Malloy will play his hand as to whether he will insert taxpayer funds into next year’s state budget in order to fund Steve Perry’s dream of opening a privately-owned, but publicly-funded charter school in Bridgeport. An out-of-state company is also counting on Malloy to come through with the cash needed to expand their charter school chain into Stamford, Connecticut.
Both charter school applications were vehemently opposed by the Bridgeport and Stamford Boards of Education.
However, despite that opposition from the local officials responsible for education policy and despite the fact that Connecticut doesn’t even fund its existing public schools adequately and the fact that the State of Connecticut is facing a massive $1.4 billion projected budget deficit next year, Governor Malloy’s former Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, and Malloy’s political appointees on the State Board of Education approved four new charter school proposals last spring.
Initial funding for two of the four applications was included in this year’s state budget, New Haven’s Booker T. Washington charter school and yet another charter school for Bridgeport.
Now the charter school industry is counting on Malloy to divert even more scarce public funds away from the state’s public schools so that Steve Perry can start pulling in a $2.5 million management fee from a charter school in Bridgeport and the out-of-state company can open up a revenue stream from a new charter school in Stamford.
While most public education advocates are focused on the Malloy administration’s ongoing attempt to privatize public education via policies at the state level, the politically connected Achievement First Inc. Charter School chain is using a completely different approach as it seeks to pull off a deal in New Haven that would shift existing funds away from New Haven’s public schools and into the coffers of the Achievement First operation.
Of course, Achievement First Inc. is the charter school chain founded by Stefan Pryor, Malloy’s former commissioner of education.
Achievement First Inc. is also the charter school chain that gets the lion’s share of the $100 million in public funds that are already diverted to charter schools in Connecticut.
Achievement First’s latest gambit is called the Elm City Imagine School. Achievement First already owns and operates the following taxpayer-funded New Haven Charter Schools;
Amistad Academy Elementary School
Amistad Academy Middle School
Amistad Academy High School
Elm City College Preparatory Elementary School
Elm City College Preparatory Middle School
Achievement First Inc. also owns charter schools in Hartford, New Haven, New York City and Rhode Island.
With the New Haven proposal, Achievement First, Inc. is attempting to side-step the entire state charter school authorization process. They are trying to use a mechanism whereby state and local taxpayer funds would be allocated by the New Haven Board of Education directly to Achievement First’s new “experimental school.”
The only hurdle that Achievement First Inc. needs to overcome is getting the approval of the New Haven Board of Education…and it appears that they are well on the way to do just that as early as their February 23, 2015 meeting.
The New Haven Board has scheduled a second and final public hearing on the proposal tomorrow, Tuesday 2/17 at 5:30, nicely timed to take place during school vacation.
The New Haven Board of Education is not democratically elected by the citizens of New Haven. It is one of the only boards of education in Connecticut to be appointed by the mayor of the community.
In this case, the New Haven Board of Education is appointed by Mayor Toni Harp – who, thanks to an earlier sweetheart deal – happens to sit on the Achievement First Inc. Board of Directors for the Amistad Academy schools.
Another member of the New Haven Board of Education is Alex Johnston who is the former CEO of ConnCAN. Johnston now, “develops and implements strategies for philanthropists on education reform advocacy and political initiatives.”
ConnCAN is the charter school advocacy group that is not only associated with Achievement First Inc. but it is the entity that led the record-breaking $6 million dollar lobbying campaign in support of Malloy’s 2012 Corporate Education Reform Initiative.
ConnCAN is also the charter school advocacy group that recently held a rally on the New Haven Green to “save kids trapped in local failing public schools.”
And ConnCAN is the charter school advocacy group that was created by Jonathan Sackler, who is the multi-millionaire who played such a pivotal role in helping Stefan Pryor with the creation of Achievement First Inc.
Sackler now serves on the Board of Directors for Achievement First Inc. and the Board of Directors for ConnCAN
Most recently, Sackler and his family were the largest contributors to Malloy’s re-election effort, pumping well over $100,000 into the various committees that paid for the Governor’s campaign activities.
Achievement First’s Elm City Imagine
Achievement First’s Elm City Imagine (designed to become a K-4 school) will be Achievement First Inc.’s initial foray into the “Greenfield” model. The model designed with the help of the inventor of the computer mouse.”
Achievement First Inc. is also using public funds to insert the “Greenfield Model” into its Elm City College Prep Middle School.
Among the many controversies associated with this new proposal is that Achievement First Inc. has successfully prevented the unionization of its schools and is now looking to use even more public funds to hire employees who would have no collective bargaining rights.
Achievement First Inc. is also notorious for relying on Teach For America recruits in an effort to promote the churning of staff to keep expenses down and limit the likelihood of unionization.
Alex Johnston, the former ConnCAN CEO who and member of the New Haven Board of Education is quoted as saying
“We need statewide policies that allow educational innovations like Teach for America or Dacia’s schools [The Achievement First Inc. Charter School chain] to spread far and wide.”
[Article Update at 3pm 2/16/15 – Johnston has announced the due to the conflict of interest he will not be voting on application, although it doesn’t change much considering the political dynamics surrounding the project.]
Of course, Achievement First Inc. also made national news when it was reported that their “zero-tolerance” discipline policies led to an extraordinary number of kindergartners being suspended.
Check back for the next installment of this series.
You can also read more about the Achievement First Inc. plan via the following New Haven Independent articles;
Teachers, Parents Organize Against Charter Deal
The School Of The Future Gets A Dry Run
Teachers Union Prez Pens “Imagine” Critique
Charter Plans Detailed; Parents Weigh In
Elm City Imagine Sparks Debate
NHPS, AF Team Up On Experimental School
Elm City Charter Eyed For Futuristic “Conversion”
City’s Charter Network Hires San Francisco Firm To Design The K-8 Public School Of The Future
Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit
Updated – see new CT Mirror story
A Wait, What? moment if there every was one…
Nine months ago, Governor Malloy signed a bill into law that exempting clothing costing less than $50 from the state sales tax starting on July 1, 2015. Throughout his recent campaign for re-election he promised over and over again that the his tax cuts would remain in law despite Connecticut’s budget deficits.
But today, everything changed…. And just wait till you see how he is trying to cover up his action…
Today Governor Malloy took to WFSB-TV’s Face The State to announce that later this week, when he presents his budget plan to a joint session of the Connecticut General Assembly on how to solve next year’s projected $1.4 billion budget deficit, he will be proposing a reduction in Connecticut’s sales tax from its current rate of 6.35 percent to 6.20 percent starting on November 1, 2015 (a quarter way through the coming fiscal year) and then to 5.95 percent in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Without ever telling WFSB Face the State host Dennis House how the sales tax cut would actually be paid for, Malloy had the gall to proclaim, “I think it’s a way to give some relief to the middle class as the economy keeps improving.”
What Malloy failed to explain was the he is “finding the money” for this minor cut by reneging on the cloth tax exemption that is already in law and scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2015.
So let’s all understand just what Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing.
Malloy is saying he will make a microscopic cut in the sales taxes while at the same time repealing a law that he signed that eliminates the sales tax on clothing and he saying that his proposal is designed to “give some relief to the middle class”
The CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf was the only news outlet to figure out Malloy’s incredible bait and switch tactic noting that the,
“[Clothing Tax Break] scheduled to start this July under legislation Malloy signed last May – would save consumers $145 million next year,” while “Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he will propose lowering Connecticut’s sales tax rate this week, while eliminating a partial exemption on clothing to produce a net tax revenue increase of $68 million in the next fiscal year.”
To reiterate, Malloy told TV viewers that he was LOWERING the sales tax rate to levels not seen since 1971, but the way he is doing it by reneging on a promise – that he signed into law – that would have provided for a $50 sales tax exemption on clothing – a change that was supposed to take place in less than five months.
According to Phaneuf,
“Mark Bergman, his spokesman, released limited revenue numbers after the broadcast and confirmed that the primary change would be the elimination of a partial sales tax exemption on clothing.”
Bergman said the governor’s proposed changes would yield a net sales tax revenue increase of $68….”
You can read more of the ugly details at http://ctmirror.org/2015/02/15/malloy-would-cut-sales-tax-rate-but-broaden-its-reach/
Updated CT Mirror story - http://ctmirror.org/2015/02/15/malloy-would-cut-sales-tax-rate-but-broaden-its-reach/
Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes Malloy, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes
As we like to say here at Wait, Wait? You better sit down for this one,
Although the State of Connecticut is facing a projected $1.4 billion state deficit next year, Governor Dannel Malloy’s most significant campaign promise was that he would neither propose or accept any tax increase should the voters of Connecticut elect him to a second term.
In a made for media moment, Malloy went on a major morning radio show this morning to announce that rather than raise taxes, he would be proposing that Connecticut liquor stores be allowed to stay open on Mondays – Saturdays until 10 p.m and all the way until 8 p.m. on Sundays.
The hosts dutifully toasted the Governor’s proposal with tequila.
Malloy’s plan, according to WFSB TV News, will “lower the price of alcohol in the state and raise additional tax revenue for the state.”
Lower prices and more revenue without raising taxes….Hooray!
In what one supposes is a parallel proposal to promote more competition or create an incentive for more Corporate Hedge Funds to invest their money in liquor stores, Malloy also announced that he will also be proposing legislation that would allow liquor store owners to own up to six stores, rather than being capped at the existing number of three.
For those who are scratching their heads about how longer hours and more stores selling liquor will lower prices when the state mandates minimum per bottle pricing for all types of alcohol in Connecticut, the Malloy administration explains that the Governor will also propose revising, but not repealing, Connecticut minimum liquor pricing policies.
According to the CT Mirror, “He says he would maintain minimum bottle pricing, but allow steeper discounts than are now allowed by law, namely by letting retailers charge consumers as little as the wholesale price.”
Considering governors normally release what they consider to be juicy tidbits in the week leading up to their budget proposal, Malloy’s announcement today really builds up the level of excitement for next week when he will propose his complete budget package to a joint session of the Connecticut General Assembly on February 18, 2015.
You can read more about this breaking news at the Courant via His Budget Might Induce Drink, But Malloy Wants Lower Liquor Prices and CT Mirror at His budget might induce drink, but Malloy wants lower prices