School Bus Safety and Health Care Assistance for Paraeducators

September 14, 2023

Since our kids and educators are back in the classroom, now is a good time to remind everyone to get in the habit of slowing down near schools and school buses. It's the law! Please read below for some driving tips to protect our children.

It is also important to note the state is providing a financial boost and health care assistance to our paraeducators. You will find more on that in today's newsletter.

And, you are invited to share your thoughts on a plan for an accessible, high-quality state child care system. Look below for more information on how to register for this week's in-person and online sharing sessions. 

You can click on any of these links to jump to that section of the email:


School Bus Safety

It's been a few weeks since students returned to the classroom in Stamford, and I want to remind all drivers that they need to slow down in school zones and for school buses. According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, school bus drivers transport more than 330,000 children to and from school every day.
Just a few years ago, my colleagues amended a law further addressing school bus safety to increase penalties for violators. Any driver, who fails to stop when a school bus is displaying its flashing red signal lights, will face a $450 fine for the first offense. Each following offense will be a fine of $500 to $1,000, up to 30 days in jail, or both. CLICK HERE for more information. 
Be sure to click the button below to get tips for all drivers, parents, and children to ensure that we have a safe start to the school year.
School Bus Safety Tips

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.
Share Your Thoughts On Our Child Care System

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) wants to hear from you at a series of public sharing sessions about the work of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care.

The panel is charged with developing a five-year strategic plan for a child care system that works for families, providers, and our economy.

Families, providers, employers, and community members are invited to share their thoughts - in English and Spanish - on the latest version of the draft plan outline.

To register for any of the sharing sessions, go to or can the OR code below.


CT Department of Labor - Attention: Notice of Phishing Attempt

The Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) was made aware of a new and unique phishing scheme, by criminals posing as CTDOL staff, to obtain detailed information from employers who participate in CT’s Registered Apprenticeship Programs. CTDOL sent the email below to all employers within the Office of Apprenticeship’s database.

Education Symposium on Landscape Design and Green Infrastructure

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is running an education symposium called “Ecological Approaches to Landscape Design and Green Infrastructure” on Friday, September 22 at the Dodd Center on the UConn campus in Storrs.

The program will feature technical leaders in landscape ecology, soil science, and storm water engineering, as well as design leaders from landscape architecture firms across New England, showcasing recent work at UConn.

This should be interesting event for city officials as well as any landscapers in my district. I will try to attend, but not sure yet I can make it. While the program is sold out, ASLA is looking at ways to boost the program's registration capacity.

Please email to be added to the wait list, on a first come, first served basis.