State Senator Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury) today announced additional state educational funding for Waterbury city schools. Senator Hartley said with yesterday’s approval, the Waterbury Public Schools system is in line for nearly $4.4 million to underwrite proposals meant to improve student achievement.

   Senator Hartley noted that Waterbury’s supplemental grant is the third largest in Connecticut, intended to address pre-kindergarten education, improve high school graduation rates, work to ensure equal access districtwide to Common Core State Standards in curricula, and other initiatives.

   “This additional state funding will help educators throughout Waterbury deliver a first-rate public education to all students and give them the foundation and tools they’ll need to be productive, contributing adults,” Senator Hartley said. “This is not to say that more money will automatically improve our schools, but simply that educators will now have additional resources available to them.”

   “I congratulate Superintendent Kathleen Ouellette and her team on their successful application,” said Commissioner Stefan Pryor of the state Department of Education. “Waterbury will deploy Alliance District funding toward new early childhood education programs, new efforts to strengthen early-grade literacy instruction, a redesign of its central office, and the creation of an alternative education program for students in need of special supports.”

   “I commend Waterbury as well for the process it undertook to develop its reform plan, including an analysis of trends in student achievement data and the Superintendent’s extensive stakeholder meetings and school visits, Commissioner Pryor added.”

   “For too long, the formula for turning around struggling schools followed one guiding principle – increased funding,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “While there are many schools throughout the state that would benefit with increased resources, we can’t simply continue to throw good money after bad.  Thanks to the creation of Alliance Districts, increases in funding must now come with a plan for turning around schools and increasing student performance.  Our state may have the nation’s largest achievement gap, but thanks to our reform effort, we now have the tools we need to make sure that all of our children can succeed.”