Shame, shame, shame...when will the public get serious when it comes to addressing the state's education achievement gap embarrassment?
With 83 percent of Connecticut students graduating on time in four years, the state is tied for 12th place among the 50 states, according to new preliminary data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.
The state comes in eighth place for the white students that graduate on time, compared to 26th place for black students and 38th for Hispanic students. The state comes in 41st place for graduating students from low-income families, 24th for special education students and 28th for those students who enter school with limited English proficiency.
The completion rates for those who should have graduated 2011 were the worst in Connecticut for students with either special education needs, from a low income family or for those with limited English proficiency when they entered school. All three groups saw just six out of every 10 students graduate on time.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill officially certified the results of the 2012 election Wednesday morning and reported a healthy voter turnout despite the arrival of a severe hurricane just before Election Day.
More than 1.5 million Connecticut voters turned out for the Nov. 6 election. That's 74 percent of all the registered voters in the state, Merrill said. More than 118,000 voters casted absentee ballots.
"This is a very healthy voter turnout. About 18 percent higher than the 2010 election," Merrill said.
The turnout was down slightly from the last presidential election in 2008 when 78 percent of the state's voters came to the polls. Merrill said it's difficult to know exactly what caused the slight dip but the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in late October likely contributed.
"We had a major hurricane and that certainly may have made a difference particularly in some southern parts of the state. But I'm not concerned about it. It's still a very strong turnout," she said.
Facing a bleak financial picture this year and for years to come, the Malloy administration announced $170 million in immediate budget cuts Wednesday afternoon, slashing spending across state government.
The rescissions affect everything from mental health services to food stamps for the poor to funding for magnet schools. The cuts also reduce funding for the arts, the University of Connecticut, the Department of Children and Families and residential services for the disabled.
"Many of these cuts are very difficult to make, especially now when so many residents continue to struggle in a tough economy," said Ben Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. "But as painful as they are, cuts are necessary to keep this year's budget in balance. State government needs to live within its means."