Press Releases


Connecticut’s ARP ESSER Plan Earns Top Equity Rating

Education Reform Now Report Highlights Connecticut’s Commitment to Educational Equity in the Planning for and Investment of ARP ESSER funds

(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut’s State Plan for use of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds has been ranked among the top in the nation for educational equity. 


Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, only seven states were granted the top “green light” status, including Connecticut. The recently published Education Reform Now report “Driving Towards Equity: American Rescue Plan state plan analysis” examined all ARP ESSER state plans for evidence of five qualities: commitment to data and transparency; state-level stakeholder engagement; targeted, evidence-based statewide investments; funding equity protections; and guardrails and supports for strong district plans. In its state-specific report, Connecticut earned a green light in three of the categories.


The report highlights the Learner Engagement and Attendance Program, the Connecticut State Department of Education’s (CSDE’s) Evidence-Based Practice Guides, the first-of-its-kind Connecticut COVID-19 Education Research Collaborative, and more.  


 “Here in Connecticut, we have made it clear that we are committed to using these funds to address the educational and social-emotional impact this pandemic has had on all our students and school staff,” said Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker. “We are doing so equitably and responsibly, with a focus on all our populations most disproportionately affected by the pandemic. I am proud that our team at the Department has received recognition for this ongoing work. As we consider and finalize future investments, we will continue to solicit stakeholder input and feedback as we work directly with each district to implement their plans.”


“Connecticut's plan is strong on the use of statewide data to inform state and local learning strategies, a commitment to targeting investments to address the needs of students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and providing supports and guidance for LEA plans,” Connecticut’s report reads.


"Connecticut has led it's pandemic response with students and equity at the center. As our report highlights, the State has been a national example on evidence-based investments in the classroom, maintaining data and transparency, and keeping schools safe and open,” said Amy Dowell, Connecticut State Director, Education Reform Now. “This has been a very challenging time for students and educators, and there is still much work to be done. We are appreciative of the leadership the Governor, the Commissioner and State Department of Education have shown, and are pleased they are receiving this well-deserved acknowledgement."



For Immediate Release: December 23, 2021

Contact: Eric Scoville

Connecticut State Department of Education

860-424-1988 (cell)

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