Lamont Gives “SteFanowski” An “F” On Education

Thomas Breen photoNed Lamont said he has a plan that will responsibly and equitably fund education in this state.

That plan hinges on not doing what his Republican opponent is proposing, he said, and preserving the income tax.

Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who secured the Democratic nomination for governor in August, offered that criticism of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski on Monday morning during a brief education-centered press conference outside of East Rock Community Magnet School on Nash Street.

Standing before a half-dozen representatives from the state American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, Lamont took aim at his Republican opponent, who has thus far run a campaign focused on eliminating the state income tax.

The teachers and union reps behind Lamont held signs reading “SteFanowski,” with the “F” highlighted in red to indicate Lamont’s grade for Stefanowski’s campaign.

Kendall Marr, who heads communications for the Stefanowski campaign, responded with a press release claiming that Lamont’s income tax and highway toll proposals will only drive more people and jobs from Connecticut.

“His plan won’t do us any good if there are no jobs for graduates and no one can afford to live here,” the press release reads.

Instead, the press release claims that Stefanowski will maintain state grants to municipalities, encourage students interested in technical studies to attend vocational and technical schools, and remove existing mandates on how towns and cities can spend their own money.

“We need to restore local control,” the press release reads, “put power back in the hands of municipalities, who are more in tune with the needs of their communities, and ease the burden placed on the them by the state.”

When asked for a response to Lamont’s specific accusations that cutting the income tax would mean cutting education funding, Marr replied, “Lamont is attempting to use scare tactics to distract from his plan to continue to raise taxes, which will continue to devastate our economy and further jeopardize funding for education and other priorities.”

Lamont called Stefanowski’s plan to cut the state income tax, which brings in roughly half of the state’s annual $20 billion budget, “pie in the sky” and a burden on local property taxes.

He noted that Kansas’s governor tried cutting that state’s income tax back in 2012 with promises of trickle-down economic prosperity for all.

“What you saw was an education system that was decimated,” Lamont said. In 2017, the Kansas state legislature overturned Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of efforts to raise state taxes by $1.2 billion in large part to better fund the state’s public education system.

Ed Leavy, the president of the State Vocational Federation of Teachers (SVFT) and the secretary/treasurer of the state AFT, called Stefanowski’s proposal to cut the income tax “irresponsible, immoral, wrong, and planned to fail.”

He said that, based on the current level of state education funding that comes from the income tax, that the cut could result in as many as 8,900 teacher positions lost throughout the state.

Referencing state cuts in the mid-1980s that kept him from starting his high school English job in Bridgeport until three months after the school year had begun, Leavy said, “I learned then and I know better now that every day a student doesn’t have a teacher in front of them is a day that’s lost.”

Besides pinging his reclusive opponent on his proposal to cut the state income tax, Lamont offered few specifics on how he would fund education differently than his predecessor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

He said that he disagrees with Malloy’s proposal that local cities and towns should cover a portion of teacher pension costs.

And he said that one of his priorities as governor would be to make sure that the state budget comes in on time so that cities and towns and local boards of education do not have to craft education budgets without knowing exactly how much they will be receiving each year from the state.

“I think education funding should go to those towns and cities most in need,” Lamont said in response to a question about what role state funding can play to counteract recent teacher layoffs and education budget deficits in New Haven. “But I’m not going to pull any punches. I’m also a reformer. I know that we can do things more efficiently.” He promised to work with teachers, unions, and local boards of education to make sure that funding remains in the classroom and not with non-teaching administrators.

Lamont promised not to reduce the current level of state funding for education from the current year’s levels during his first year in office, if elected.

“I think that’s a priority we ought to make,” he said. “I think I ought to be able to tell folks that they can count on the amount of education funding that they’ve got right now.”

During the fiscal year that ended in June, the city received around $148 million in state grants for education.

Click on the Facebook Live video below to watch the full press conference.

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posted by: Noteworthy on September 4, 2018  1:53pm

If you want to hate on politicians - this is a good place to continue. Empty talk, no plans - Lamont says he’s different than Malloy but all he does is attack, attack and attack - but he has no plans that are any different than Malloy. So his plan is sharp elbows, endless press conferences that go nowhere, inspire nobody - and vaguely promise more of the same. Wow.

posted by: artythesmarty on September 4, 2018  3:24pm

Very few new haven teachers actually live in new haven, maybe 7%. They are almost all suburban home owners and need private sector income tax especially from Fairfield county, to keep their pay and especially pension. New Haven has 253 employees in 6 figures, and about 550 over 90k who are expecting pensions at 70% of their last pay; for example a teacher retiring at 62 making 100k cost the state 70k PLUS a new teacher at 45k so to replace that teacher is 115k.  Very little gets into the new haven economy unless they are low on gas at school so it is just an income transfer to Orange, Woodbridge, Cheshire, No Haven etc.  A shocking number of retiree checks (over 50%) go out of state so this is just to maintain a very nice lifestyle not in new haven. Close to 80% of new haven education bills are paid by the state so nobody in new haven actually has any skin in the game or any responsibility for paying any bills.  Lamont will keep this going so the teachers love him; the parents THINK the teachers are just like them and caring but only interested in 35 and 35, keep tenure, get out..nice

posted by: OhHum on September 4, 2018  3:57pm

Lamont forgot to turn in his paper on his plans for education. He therefore receives an F. Now Ned, please don’t tell us that the dog ate It.

posted by: BevHills730 on September 4, 2018  6:59pm

Noteworthy throws his lot in with the advocates of pedophiles, rapists, and destroyers of families.

posted by: TheMadcap on September 4, 2018  8:23pm

“The parents THINK the teachers are just like them and caring but only interested in 35 and 35, keep tenure, get out..nice”

Yes, how awful teachers want to retire

posted by: NHPLEB on September 5, 2018  4:34am

Unions:  bought and paid for by the Democrats.  (In a Red State: bought and paid for by Republicans)

Lamont has no plan except tolls and income taxes.  He is another rich boy who thinks it is HIS TURN to be governor…..  just like Hillary Clinton thought.

It’s time for a change in Hartford.  Give the Republicans a chance to fix things. Democrats have lost the faith of the people.  We may believe in the Democrat platform of liberty, justice, and equity for all through a good day’s work but the party no longer believes it.Their platform is a lie.  Time for a change at every level of govt.

posted by: BevHills730 on September 5, 2018  9:23am

Yes!  Give Republicans a chance to cut vital services, make classrooms even more overcrowded, gut city finances, and force massive property tax increases!

posted by: OhHum on September 5, 2018  11:14am

“Noteworthy throws his lot in with the advocates of pedophiles, rapists, and destroyers of families”
Exactly how do you equate this statement with what was said by noteworthy? Or is this just idle chatter?

“Yes!  Give Republicans a chance to cut vital services, make classrooms even more overcrowded, gut city finances, and force massive property tax increases!”
Isn’t this what the democrats have already accomplished. Or are you living in an alternate reality?

posted by: BevHills730 on September 5, 2018  3:20pm


Check out Noteworthy’s history of comments.  He is a defender of Greer and Cosby.  He has advocated for the legal protections of pedophiles.  This is an actual Noteworthy quote: “At 14, you have the ability to say no. At 16, you really have the ability.”  His support is a telling endorsement!

With regards to the democrats, Trump is a good lesson.  For years the Republicans complained about the deficit and Obama bankrupting our country.  Yet Trump’s only major legislative accomplishment is blowing up the deficit and increasing local tax liabilities.  For years Republicans complained about Obamacare.  So far Trump has just made healthcare more expensive. 

So Yes!  Let’s try to get the Republicans to replicate this model of “success” in our state!

posted by: OhHum on September 5, 2018  5:25pm

Are you conflating Noteworthy’s endorsement with Republicans supporting pedophilia, rape, and the dissolution of families?

On the flip side, Trumps budget plan regarding the deficit involves the economy growing at a rate higher or equal to the rate at which it is growing now. It cannot be denied that the economy and employment is the best it has been in years.
Obamacare is still in place. John McCain the Lefts new hero saw to that. The cost of Healthcare is still going up as it has since Obamacare was first introduced. The democrats want to keep it. The democrats have controlled the State for the past eight years and look at it now. such a sorry state. New haven has been controlled by the democrats for over 60 years. Are you happy with this city? It’s a whisper away from state financial control and the State is not much better. Keep up the good work DEMS!