Health Care Assistance for Paraeducators

September 15, 2023

School is in full swing across the district. While we were able to provide additional resources and support for schools and educators, we know there is more that needs to be done for our classrooms to run smoothly and our kids to be successful. 

I am proud to share that thousands of paraeducators in our state are getting a well-deserved boost in the form of a stipend for health care. We must continue to do all we can to support for our vital staff, who are role models for our children and integral to the success of our schools. 

Below you will find the following sections and topics in this week's email:
  • Health Care Assistance for Paraeducators
  • HVAC Grants Available for Public Schools
  • Federal Aid Coming To Support Farmers
  • Labor Day Celebration
  • Support for Women-Owned Businesses
  • Derby Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Hamden
  • Orange Events and Community Calendar
  • Woodbridge Events and Community Calendar
Health Care Assistance for Paraeducators

Paraeducators provide critical and direct support to teachers and students, which makes them an integral part of the school ecosystem. That is why I am happy to share that the Paraeducator Healthcare Subsidy Program will provide $5 million in financial assistance and increase access to quality health care.

This program was created during the 2023 Legislative Session and signed into law as part of the bipartisan biennium budget. It will help paraeducators enrolled in high-deductible health plans with a health savings account and employed by a local or regional school district with a one-time stipend to reduce out-of-pocket costs. Payments are expected to go out in September to more than 4,000 paraeducators.

Legislative leadership made appropriating these funds a priority in budget negotiations to help bridge the painful gap between high-deductible health plans and low wages for paraeducators, who are critical to our classrooms. We must continue efforts that ensure that paraeducators receive proper compensation and benefits.
HVAC Grants Available for Public Schools

In 2022, we passed legislation establishing a new grant program to encourage public school districts to install, replace, or upgrade their heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It was just announced that the application period for the second round of grant funding is now open! More details below:

Eligible applicants include local boards of education, regional boards of education, and regional education service centers.

The application deadline is December 31, 2023 at 5:00 P.M.

You can learn more at

Federal Aid Coming To Support Farmers

It's been tough year for Connecticut’s farmers with severe weather events damaging crops. This declaration means that farmers in all eight of Connecticut’s counties can apply for federal disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency. Farmers can request emergency loans to cover production losses they experienced from heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred in early July, provided that certain eligibility requirements are met.

Interested farmers should contact the Connecticut Department of Agriculture at (860) 713-2500 or Additional resources are available online at to assist producers as they navigate the recovery process.

Labor Day Celebration

Good times were had by all last weekend with the town celebration of fireworks and music at High Plains Community Center and the Greek Festival held at St. Barbara's Greek Orthodox Church! My family enjoyed all the delicious food at the festival and ended up watching the fireworks alongside wonderful dancing! 

Thank you to everyone who put the town celebration together! If you weren't able to attend, you can watch the recording of the concert and the fireworks display below.

2023 Labor Day weekend concert and fireworks at Orange Fairgrounds.
Support For Women-Owned Businesses

Time is running out to apply for the next round of the Women's Business Development Council’s (WBDC) Equity Match Grant Program. The deadline is September 27.

The program offers grants of up to $10,000 to women-owned businesses in Connecticut who have been in business for two or more years and have revenues between $25K and $2 million.

Since the start of the program, WBDC has distributed 216 grants of over $2 million to women-owned businesses in Connecticut.
Click Here To Learn More About the Program
Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below to see what's going on in Derby, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look at the fliers below and click on the button to learn about upcoming events in Hamden:
More Hamden Events
Orange Events and Community Calendar
Check out the upcoming events in Orange, and please click the button below to access the community calendar.

The Orange Country Fair will be opening its gates this weekend at the Orange Fairgrounds on Orange Center Road! The event will be open on Saturday, September 16 from 8:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. and Sunday, September 17 from 8:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

The entire family will get to enjoy tractors and truck pulls, live music, a classic car show, delicious food, and so much more. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and kids 14 and under get in for free!

CLICK HERE for a full rundown of events happening this week at the Orange Country Fair!

Orange Community Calendar
Woodbridge Events and Community Calendar
Check out the events below and click the button under that to access the community calendar.
Fall farm after school programs allow children to have a hands on experience at Massaro Community Farm. Participants spend time getting garden beds ready for winter, caring for chickens, exploring the nature trail, learning basic survival skills, and other fun and educational activities. CLICK HERE to register.
The Town of Woodbridge Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion invites the public to attend the 3rd Annual Woodbridge Like Me Day. The free community event features live performances, local organizations, music, food trucks, and more and is a celebration of our vibrant and diverse Woodbridge community.
Woodbridge Community Calendar