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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript


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Governor, you first. Governor, how confident were you that you were going to be able to get an agreement with all the players at the table and how hard was it to do?

MALLOY: Well, listen, making change is hard. That`s a reality. But I was confident we could get to a package that I could support and that everyone could support. We -- the biggest danger to democracy and the hallmark of that danger would be a permanent underclass without hope. That`s what we started to create for a period of time.

And I think we`re going to correct that behavior and understand that all of our children can learn. And we`ve got to adapt and we`ve got to change and we`ve got to work together and we`ve got to hold parents, students and teachers accountable, along with school administrators.

SCHULTZ: Randi Weingarten, it`s about the money. What happens here?

RANDI WEINGARTEN, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: Well, look, I have to give a lot of credit to the governor and the legislative leadership in Connecticut, because this was a very ambitious agenda, to do a lot of things at the same time. And what the governor realized is you can`t do this without an investment. And that`s why there`s an investment in early childhood, in the wraparound services, and in the wherewithal to do the turning around of low-performing schools and the kind of continuous evaluation and development that teachers need to be -- to improve their craft.

SCHULTZ: Governor Malloy, why didn`t you just cut 6,000 teachers the way your guy over in New Jersey did, Chris Christie? Why didn`t you go down that road?

MALLOY: Listen, a year ago, I plugged a 270 million dollar hole in the funding that would have done that. And this year, we`re putting another 100 million dollars into schools. Listen, if you take money out of schools, they`re not going to perform as well as they need to perform.

Now listen, we all have to get real serious about helping poor kids learn. And we`ve got to change the way we do it. We know what works. We have to be willing to invest in it. Early childhood is a big part of that. Randi has some great ideas. We brought Randi to the state to talk to us about what it would take to turn schools around. She`s really a
national leader, has done so much on this issue. And this has been a process.

Listen, there were some elbows thrown in Connecticut. There were some ruffled feathers. I probably ruffled some of those feathers. But the reality is, we got the deal done. And we`re now in a position to do something that other states aren`t doing right now.

SCHULTZ: What`s the biggest change here, Randi?

WEINGARTEN: The biggest change was that the government and the legislative leadership trusted that, even with the elbows thrown, that we get to the end and do what we needed to do for the benefit of the children.

So the eyes were on, how are we going to help kids in a state that doesn`t have unlimited money, but how are we going to target the resources and do the four or five things that we have to do to turn around school?

So the real issue, the real story here is that Connecticut became the model of collaboration in terms of the policy. Now the hard work starts in terms of really doing the work in this bill.

SCHULTZ: Governor, did you have to cut jobs to get this done?

MALLOY: No, we`re not looking to cut jobs. I had the biggest per capita deficit of all 50 states just over a year ago. We went a different way. It was too big to tax our way out and too big to cut our way out. And yes, we had to change some of our relationships. But we got that job done.

That`s why we have 100 million dollars more to put into education this year. That`s why we`re committed to turning around the 30 low-performing districts and the 25 lowest performing schools. And that`s why we`re going to do this together, as opposed to trying to divide and conquer.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, Randi, is this a national model?

WEINGARTEN: This is a great model of cooperation and working together, both in terms of developing policy and moving forward. I give the governor and Connecticut a lot of props. Compare that to what`s going on in a lot of places around nation of cut, cut, cut and creating real negativity for kids.

SCHULTZ: Randi Weingarten and also Governor Dan Malloy, great to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. It`s a success story we like to hear.


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