THUMBS UP to success in cutting student absenteeism. Students not appearing in class was a major problem early in the pandemic, as nearly everyone knew it would be, what with remote schooling and uneven schedules for months. But the use of COVID relief funds in a number of districts to pay for at-home visits to absent students helped turn that trend around, a new report shows. The findings showed that attendance increased immediately following home visits, and improvement continued as time went on, with an increase of nearly 15 percentage points in some cases. Such interventions aren’t cheap, but the payoff is well worth the cost.
THUMBS UP to early voting. With the approval by voters of a constitutional change last year that would allow voting to be held on days other than Election Day, the debate now moves to the General Assembly to determine exactly what that will mean. Since nearly every other state has some version of early voting, this isn’t exactly untrod ground. Still, Connecticut has to decide what makes sense here. Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, who was elected to office in November, has proposed 10 days of early voting, which is a good start to the discussion. There’s much that must be determined, including how municipalities will be helped in accommodating the change and how to make the physical space for voting available. What’s important is that the talking can finally begin.