Bullying the Education Vote?

State Rep. Gail Lavielle thinks so, you?

A lot of ink was spilled last week about the vote on the education bill. But there is another issue aside from the debate about whether the bill is a ghost of its former self, or whether it represents a work in progress. And that is how the closed-door meetings leading up to the vote speaks to a lack of transparency, said 

Lavielle said she was dismayed that only the two Education Committee chairs, two union heads and the Education Commissioner discussed the bill’s language.

“Is it abuse of one party rule? Absolutely. Is it bullying? Yes,” she said. But more than that, Lavielle said the process is disrespectful to the people she represents. “I don’t understand what’s wrong with talking about differing views.”

And while Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had talked about tying teacher tenure to performance among other things, the governor caved on several of the reforms—or, to be more precise the Committee chairs did the caving for him, according to Lavielle.

Malloy’s Senior Advisor Roy Occhiogrosso played down division in his recent remarks. He said the Education Committee’s vote “represents just one step in the legislative process. Governor Malloy has made it clear that he’s determined to begin fixing what’s broken in our public schools, no matter how long it takes.”

Lavielle doesn’t see it that way.

“I think he [the governor] wants the reputation of being a draconian reformer but he doesn’t really want to disturb the teacher’s unions,” Lavielle said.


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