Connecticut group begins deciding how to spend $200M in education donations

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A Connecticut group got down to business Monday in deciding how to spend at least $200 million in money meant for students.

Months ago, Greenwich billionaire Ray Dalio donated $100 million of his own money to improve Connecticut education if taxpayers kicked in another $100 million.

The board in charge of that money got into the work of figuring out how to spend it. The group, called Partnership for Connecticut, includes Dalio's wife, Gov. Ned Lamont and top state lawmakers from both parties.

The first step is picking a CEO to run the group, which should happen in March. After that, Lamont wants to start doling out money quickly.

"In terms of timing, I think we have a plan. We're going to talk to all the major stakeholders. We'll get their response ... and then we're ready to hit the ground running," says Lamont.

Over the next month, the partnership wants to hear from groups that could use some of the money and get their ideas about what works and what doesn't.

One of those schools is Fairchild Wheeler Magnet School in Bridgeport, where they're preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow - but struggling to pay for it.

"This is about transforming the lives of young people who, for the most part, have been forgotten," says Erik Clemons, a chairperson for the partnership.

While it sounds like a lot of money, some members worry about trying to do too much and spreading the funds too thin.

"I just worry that if we don't do that, we'll look back and say, 'Wow, we did a lot of little things, but maybe it didn't matter that much,'" says Garrett Moran, who is on the partnership's board.


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