An update on the status of the Commission
July 1, 2016 will bring a transformation for the Connecticut Commission on Children. That’s when we merge with two other legislative commissions—the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Aging—to form a new agency, the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors.
The merger was included in the state budget adjustments negotiated this spring between the General Assembly and Governor Malloy in response Connecticut’s ongoing fiscal crisis. The savings here will be achieved through significant staff reductions. Nevertheless, the new Commission will continue much of the Commission on Children’s work. For instance, the legislation creating the new agency (Special Session Public Act 16-3, Section 130) specifically requires it to make recommendations for embedding a “two-generational” approach to serving Connecticut families—a prime focus of the Commission on Children in recent years. The legislation also requires recommending strategies for systems innovations, reducing family poverty, promoting parent leadership and family civics, and promoting youth leadership that keep youth engaged in the community. These objectives echo perfectly the long-time policy objectives of the Commission on Children.
The board members who’ve volunteered so much of their time, energy, and expertise to the Commission on Children will join a larger board that will advise the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors. We express our gratitude for all they’ve done on behalf of children so far and good wishes for all they’re about to achieve.
In 1985, when it voted unanimously to create the Commission on Children, the General Assembly wanted an entity that would bring together the various facets of government, along with academia, business, and philanthropy, to forge policies that would ensure the health, safety, and education of Connecticut children. We feel we’ve succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest hopes, taking a leading role in issues as important—and diverse—as closing the achievement gap in reading, school climate, immunization, disaster planning for families, school readiness, children’s mental health, home visitation, youth employment, equity, and poverty reduction.
Moreover, we put Connecticut in the national forefront of the parent civics movement by founding the Parent Leadership Training Institute, giving approximately 3,000 parents the training they needed to become effective leaders in their communities. Many of those parents are now school board members, leaders of nonprofits, and legislators.
We’re confident that the new Commission will bravely carry on this work.
Connecticut Commission on Children
Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Connecticut’s Successful Reading Plan
A pilot initiative to give intensive reading instruction to the Connecticut
children who need it most has produced dramatic results, as educators showed at a legislative briefing co-hosted on April 22 by the Commission.
Watch CT-N video, view PowerPoint slides, and more