Wilton’s state Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) and Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) have both criticized Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto of a bill establishing new qualifications for the state’s commissioner of education.
HB 6977 would require the commissioner to hold at least a master’s degree in an education-related field and to have at least five years of experience as a teacher and at least three as a school administrator. Current law does not require the education commissioner to have any education-related degrees or experience.
“I am very disappointed that the governor vetoed this bill,” Lavielle said. “I believe education is an area that requires highly specialized expertise. While our education commissioners must be strong managers, they must also have a thorough understanding of the issues that teachers, administrators, and school staff face every day in a range of very different environments. If you’re going to influence and implement policy about questions as critical as what children must learn and how they learn it, how to eliminate illiteracy, how to assess students’ progress, and how to evaluate the people who are teaching them, I think you need to have been directly involved in those areas yourself.
Boucher believes the governor’s action was driven by the fact it would ‘restrict’ his authority to pick a new candidate.”
Saying Malloy has been critical of teachers since he took office in 2011, Boucher said this veto will cement that view.
“If you recall in February of 2012 Malloy said in order for teachers to earn tenure, ‘basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years. Do that, and tenure is yours.’ Sadly, the insults continue. We encourage the state Board of Education and the governor to at least follow the spirit of this legislation — supported unanimously in the legislature — which sought to bring the highest possible standards to one of the most important positions in our state government. Which requires the depth of experience and knowledge in the field of education. It is important to the future of education in our state.”