In 2001, a dozen parent leaders from Danbury, Meriden, Norwalk, New Britain and Waterbury worked together to advocate for funding for the Parent Trust Fund, a crucial program that allowed comprehensive effective parent leadership training to occur in eleven communities throughout the state. We took collective action and won.
Although these same parent leaders had been successful making changes in their own communities, our success with the Parent Trust inspired a commitment to even greater cooperation. We knew how effective a united parent voice could be at the state level; we also knew that parents needed an ongoing presence at the State Capitol to make children’s issues a priority.
So in 2001, CT Parent Power was born. In 2003, CT Parent Power distributed our first comprehensive parent survey throughout Connecticut to ensure that our issue agenda was rooted in the interests of parents. Through this survey, and every survey since, parents across Connecticut have identified three areas of concern---high quality early care and education programs, quality affordable health care, and well-funded and accountable schools. CT Parent Power has gone from a handful of dedicated parents to a list of over 2,500 parent supporters from more than 100 towns across Connecticut.
Specific CT Parent Power Accomplishments:
- We worked with Child First Communities in 2006 to pass Parent Involvement Legislation which requires school districts to detail in their school profiles their efforts to promote parent involvement.
- We held the first-of-its-kind, parent-led, Gubernatorial & Congressional Candidate Forum on family issues in October of 2006.
- We organized parent leaders to fight for additional funds for quality early care programs in the 2007 legislative session and won $54 million in additional funds for these programs.
- In 2007, we conducted a parental educational forum with key legislative leaders and the Commissioner of Education, Mark McQuillan.
- In 2009, we held a parent forum with Dr. Jacqueline Jones, ECE Director for the United States Department of Education, Connecticut State Education officials and various legislators.
- Between 2003 and 2010, we organized thousands of parents to take action and advance a comprehensive health care solution for Connecticut residents. In 2009, we helped clinch the veto override establishing SustiNet, a state-level public health insurance option for Connecticut.
- In the past six years, we have trained more than 800 leaders statewide in advocacy skills, parent outreach and taking effective action at the state capital.