students testifying

13 students from University High School of Science and Engineering and Hartford Public High School testified before the state Education Committee on Wednesday, February 28.

The students from University High are part the school's Social Justice Club and have been working with Representative Jeff Currey, Chairman of the Education Committee, on a bill that students from uhsse with rep curreywould offer free city bus passes to all students. Their proposal is included in HB 5213 'An Act Concerning Disconnected Youth.' The students argued that free city bus passes would allow all students equal opportunity to participate in before school or after school activities that are outside of the times when school buses run.

"The sports I want to love and the clubs I want to love are ripped away from me because I have no form of transportation," said UHSSE student Nariyah Lindsay.

"This year, I had to quit soccer which I was really loving because I had to walk home almost two miles in 90 degree weather," said Akiliah Crawford. "I shouldn't have to pick between soccer or a way home."

Students from Hartford Public High School testified in support of HB 5212, 'An Act Concerning Educating Funding.' The bill includes crucial funding that would support Hartford Public Schools. hphs students who testifiedAs a part of the bipartisan agreement from last year’s legislative session, HPS should see approximately $11 million in savings from the general education tuition cap alone. The Governor has since proposed removing the tuition cap.

"I have seen the budget and $11 million could change a lot," said Cristina Jackson, an HPHS senior and member of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. "$11 million in savings is just a start, but it's a good start."

"We need to start investing in our own neighborhoods and our own school district in order to give the youth of Hartford, Connecticut a chance to change the future of Hartford," said Gabriela Nieves.

Watch their testimony below.