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2019 Advocacy Priorities

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All Connecticut children can reach their full potential when we embrace their diverse identities and remove barriers to their well-being. Connecticut benefits when everyone is able to contribute meaningfully to their families and communities.

Equity should be the foundation upon which the state builds public policy. Expanding opportunities for people with diverse identities will ensure that families can raise thriving, healthy children; children can access high-quality education that supports their development from birth through college and career; the tax system is adequate and fair; and the state budget supports investments children and families and promotes an inclusive economy.

Statewide Data Practices to Promote Equity and Support Decision Making:

  • Expand the state’s responsible collection of child and family data regarding access to services and outcomes; disaggregate this data by race and ethnicity. These practices are critical to ensuring that Connecticut’s systems and services work to benefit all children in the state.

  • Support and enhance efforts to implement an integrated state data system to support cross-agency collaboration, efficiency, and accountability.

  • Mandate timely release of public data.

Fiscal Policy and Economic Inclusion:

  • Repeal implementation of the Bond Lock and reform the current volatility cap to ensure the predictability, adequacy, and responsivity of Connecticut’s overall revenue and appropriations systems.

  • Modernize the state’s taxing and grant-making formulas to raise and distribute revenue in ways that are more equitable, efficient, and adequate to support the needs of children and families across Connecticut.

  • Ensure that working parents have the financial means to meet the needs of their children through restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit to 30 percent of a filer’s federal credit, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and creating a statewide Paid Family Medical Leave insurance system.

Educational Equity and Excellence:

  • Require professional learning for educators in the areas of Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for behavior, restorative and trauma-informed practices, de-escalation techniques, and implicit bias. SDE should allocate funds to support these endeavors using a tiered approach with long-term strategy for implementation. The schools should be required to implement MTSS using culturally relevant practices and assess progress with data disaggregated by race and ethnicity.

  • Amend Section 10-221 a (j) of the education statutes to require that schools share Student Success Plans with parents, teachers, and students during parent-teacher conferences so that children understand a clear pathway to meet their college and career readiness goals.

  • Fully fund the Care 4 Kids childcare assistance program to be able to fully comply with federal regulations, create a Care 4 Kids eligibility group to provide for parents who are in states of career transition. This includes parents enrolled in higher education or career training and those actively searching for work opportunities. Ensure funding to support this expansion.

Thriving Children and Families:

  • Create an independent, state-based policy and oversight committee that oversees child welfare system functioning and reforms to ensure the safety, well-being, and family stability of children in state care.

  • Update and codify the current DCF Adolescent Bill of Rights and Expectations so that youth living in foster care can receive vital information about their rights in the foster care system. Include special recognition of the unique experiences and needs of youth from varying cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and youth with varying gender and sexual identities.

  • Stabilize and expand the stream of funding for Juvenile Review Boards to ensure the continued reduction of youth who experience confinement and fund the state’s Community-Based Diversion System.

  • Fully fund high-quality Medicaid services at current eligibility limits.

  • Support health system reform efforts that will promote health equity for children and families, such as those led by the Office of Health Strategy.