The only two specific constitutional duties laid out in the Connecticut Constitution involve education: that there shall always be public funding of elementary and secondary education, and that there shall be a system of higher education, including UConn. This elevation is both good and bad.
The Good: it prioritizes in one of the most important areas of life.
The Bad: it can lead to complacency in education - that if the state government is funding and administering education we can rely on it to be good education.
The way to have the Good without the Bad is to make private education the model. The State-run schools become both leaders and back-stops; they follow some of the better private school practices, and they lead where the expertise of state employees can show all a better way.
State funding and state ideas can elevate education to leadership in many areas. Because the state may be behind certain research funding, we can attract more dollars from out-of-state. Because the state can provide education-to-work opportunities, we can attract more families to settle here for their K-12 students, and more university students to enroll here.
My method for attracting more families is "First 500". This school-choice, "bottom-up" support for schools, via vouchers, makes it REALLY appealing for families:
no top-down command and control;
no common core - it's our choice;
Not only will more families happily make their homes here, first 500 will attract very good teachers too. Market forces give us the best computers, clothing, phones, and foods. With the market back in education, we'll have the best for our students.
Talk with Students at The Masters School
Credit: Sonya Allen