Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rell, DeStefano Spar over Head Start

John DeStefano today attacked Gov. Rell over her record on Head Start, pointing to a decline in state funding for the program and the fact that Rell had voted against Head Start funding while in the state legislature. From the DeStefano press release:
Standing with students, teachers, and school administrators today in Bridgeport, John DeStefano, Democratic nominee for governor, called on Gov. Rell to adequately fund Head Start and give every child the opportunity to succeed in school.

“There are more than 17,000 three and four year-olds without access to pre-k right now,” said DeStefano. “Under Gov. Rell funding for Head Start has actually declined since 2002. This is not surprising considering she was one of only 7 legislators to vote against Head Start in 1992. If Gov. Rell has her way, it would take another 36 years to find coverage for all those kids. State Rep. Jodi Rell didn’t get it then and Gov. Rell doesn’t get it now.”

Gov. Rell’s opposition to Head Start is not new; as a state legislator, Jodi Rell voted against SB 138, a bill that provided funding for Head Start. Rell was one of 7 legislators, out of 140, who voted against the bill in 1992. The Act Concerning Head Start Program Quality and Allocation of Funding and the Duties of the Child Day Care Council passed with strong bipartisan support. Fifty eight Republicans voted for the bill and only 6 did not – Rell being one of them. (1)

The Rell campaign fired back that DeStefano was misinterpreting the record:
“Pointing to the state subsidies for a federally funded program such as Head Start without taking into account Connecticut’s enormous expenditure elsewhere in early childhood education is disingenuous at best,” Governor Rell said.

“Under my Administration, Connecticut has invested $21 million in early childhood education – more than any previous Governor,” the Governor said. ...

The majority of funding for Head Start comes from the federal government. Connecticut contributes an additional $2.75 million a year for Head Start services and a further $1.77 million for Head Start enhancements (capital improvements, supplies and other needs).

At the same time, Connecticut offers a School Readiness Program that mirrors Head Start in many ways but offers increased flexibility. (2)

The release offered no explanation for the governor's vote against Head Start funding in 1992.

Update 8:27pm

Correction from earlier update: the Rell campaign has stated that Rell does not remember the specifics of the bill as it was a long time ago, but that the bill itself did not, as DeStefano claims, provide funding for Head Start. Instead, the bill was concerned with administrative changes to Head Start that would have placed the education commissioner in charge of the program (instead of the human resources commissioner) and required that "at least 25% of the grant funding go to enhancing program quality."


1. "Records Reveal that Jodi Rell was one of Only 7 Lawmakers to Vote Against Head Start." Press Release. DeStefano for Connecticut. 29 August, 2006.

2. "Gov. Rell's REAL Record on Early Childhood Education." Press Release. Jodi Rell '06. 29 August, 2006.


TrueBlueCT said...

Why does Jodi Rell hate Connecticut's disadvantaged children?

Let's see. She gave $20 million to Cabela's, (a frigging retail store), and yet we have only $21 million/year for early childhood education.

That's so unbelievably ass-backwards. Every dollar we invest in our under-privileged kids is $$$ in the bank down the road.

Anonymous said...

Guess their parents don't need a job ....

Anonymous said...

well, John DeStefano needed to go back 14 years to find a bad Jodi vote.

You know, I think Derek Jeter was playing HS ball in Kalamazoo back then

BTW TBC, how much corporate welfare has DeStefano doled out over the years.....

TrueBlueCT said...

Um, it's been thirteen years, and not that much. Fact is New Haven's Board of Aldermen looks unfavorably at giveaways to rich folk.

In terms of going back, I think it's good if someone fleshes out Jodi's voting record from when she was a representative. The anti-Head Start vote says a lot about Jodi. As does her willingness to basically lie about it.

Anonymous said...

Talk about lying .... DeStefano puts out a release saying Rell voted against a bill "that provided funding for Head Start" when in fact all the bill dealt with was which agency was going to administer the program.

Apparently the incompetents who were running the campaign are still in charge. You tee up your own event, and then don't do the due diligence first? And your first attack gets flipped because you can't even get the basics right?

Should make for an interesting fall (in all senses of the word!).

Anonymous said...

TBC, Bob Matthews and Lynn Fusco say hello and are very thankful

You guys down in New Haven think you can pander your way to victory. Not

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Looks to me, TrueBlue/DeanFan, like the lying is being done by your boy -- claiming that a vote on some administrative issue from 14 years ago is somehow a "vote against Head Start."

But then, desperate times call for desperate measures, eh?

Ghost of Yogi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Derby Conservative said...

Trublue, you say it's been 13 years since the City of New Haven gave tax dollars to a corporation? Have you heard of Sal Brancati? If not, you should learn about him because your claims are not entirely true.

You can start by reading this article from the New Haven Advocate.

I would love to compare the list of companies who received money from Johnny D's slush funds to the list of donors to his Gube campaign.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Derby Conservative said...
You can start by reading this article from the New Haven Advocate.

They'll claim The ADVOCATE is a right wing publication and can't possibly be taken seriously.

Bet on it.

BrassBoy said...

Every dollar we invest in our under-privileged kids won't matter a lick if these same kids don't have stable backgrounds with good parenting and an understanding of how valuable an education can be for a person.

Until the Democratic party understands that it's actually okay to be pro-family and promote personal responsibility instead of more nanny-state, government welfare, those dollars will not be $$$ in the bank. They will be more like throwing good money after bad.

bluecoat said...

I don't know that the Democrats are anti-family, but they and Rell needs to understand that the effectiveness of their spending needs to be measured. For instance, DCF is as bad as ever.,.

TrueBlueCT said...


That is about the stupidest, most devoid of reality, comment I've ever read from you.

BrassBoy said...

Really TB? Why is it so stupid? Are you really going to make the argument that a stable home life and a realization that school is valuable no matter what you plan to do with your life is not helpful to ou educational goals?

Or are you going to argue that by and large it is the Democratic party who argues for increased spending for education year after year without an equally insistent call for programs and initiatives designed to promote stable family backgrounds and values?

Perhaps I was rather crude and glib in making my pint earlier (it was one of those mornings). However, my point still remains. We can aruge over spending until we are blue in the face, but it does not matter how much is spent if the children we are trying to educate do not have stable backgrounds, positive influences in their lives and the understanding that a good education is the most valuable they can ever have as they face life.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

TrueBlue/DeanFan said: That is about the stupidest, most devoid of reality, comment I've ever read from you.

That is the most average, typical, run-of-the-mill response I read from you every day.

TrueBlueCT said...

Um, there are plenty of kids in Connecticut that don't have "stable backgrounds with good parenting". To suggest that we not do a great deal to help these disadvantaged kids is not only callous, it's stupid.

Where I'm from, we don't write people off. And it's not hopeless for everyone coming out of a messy household.

Plus, to do nothing regarding these kids is to almost encourage them to become wayward. Drugs and crime are very expensive to society. It's much cheaper to deal with developmental stuff early.

yalie said...

I'm a big fan of this blog.

This type of chest-thumping is typical from DeStefano and his ilk. He's just pandering to the unions, as he's been known to do in New Haven. That's the reason why the Yale-New Haven Cancer Center construction project was so badly delayed, and now he wants to apply the same kind of politics to education.

There is all the evidence in the world that simply throwing money at these sorts of problems often doesn't solve them, and is sometimes even counterproductive. However, it seems that some don't care to look at the evidence or find real solutions, but would rather just rape the taxpayers and call it a day.

Let me close by saying this. Before we sent DeStefano up to Hartford, we should make him clean up the 2 blocks of RUBBLE in downtown New Haven where the coliseum once stood.