HARTFORD, Conn.(WTNH) -- Governor Malloy says that despite the state's money problems, he will increase funding for public schools.
The announcement comes on the day before the Governor will announce big cuts in other state spending, to close a huge projected budget deficit.
"This is about priorities and you're going to hear that word quite a bit tomorrow and it is time that Connecticut set priorities," said Governor Malloy.
Flanked by education and teacher union leaders, the Governor announced he will increase funding for local public schools despite the state's projected billion dollar budget deficit, increasing state funding a whopping $152 million over the next two years.
"117 cities and towns across Connecticut will see increased funding, among them are the 30 Alliance Districts, the under performing districts that we are concentrating on lifting performance in," said Malloy.
While no community will receive less from the state in the next two years, cities with the biggest achievement gap like New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport, receive the bulk of the increase.
"We're especially pleased that the 30 Alliance Districts, the lowest performing districts in our state, are receiving such a substantial portion of the dollars," said Commissioner Stefan Pryor, CT Dept. of Education, "it's so important to continue the efforts in these districts."
The Governor is also making several million dollars available for recruiting and retaining top teachers in those districts and a partnership with the state's two largest teacher unions aimed at that effort.
"The Governor, obviously, is creating conditions under which teaching is a respected, as well as a supported profession," said Sheila Cohen, President, C.E.A. teachers union.
The ax falls Wednesday when the Malloy administration announces where all the cuts in programs will come to pay for all the increases in spending he's announced over the past few days.
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