LGBTQ+ Education (HB5510) & Personal Financial Management (SB 1033)

Good Morning Chair Sanchez, Chair McCrory, Ranking Member McCarty, Ranking Member Berthel, and Members of the Education Committee:

My name is John Board and I am Chair of New Britain Pride, the city’s LGBTQ+ outreach group. I am here to testify today on House Bill 6619: An Act Concerning the Development of a Kindergarten to Eight Grade Model Curriculum. This bill incorporates several different bills, including House Bill 5510, the LGBTQ+ studies bill, and House Bill 5763/Senate Bill 1033, the financial literacy bill. I want to thank Representative Klarides-Ditria and Representative Jeff Currey for working in a bipartisan way and sponsoring the LGBTQ+ education bill.

LGBTQ+ education or a curriculum is not exclusively about sex. We live in a world where an interdisciplinary approach to education is prized. This means students will be encouraged to make connections across subjects. In speaking with students, teachers, administrators, union representatives, board of education members, parents, advocates, and state officials we took a holistic approach.

If Connecticut adopts this bill, we would be the fourth state to have an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum behind New Jersey, California, Illinois. Our legislation directs the State Board of Education to develop a curriculum for grades five (5) to twelve (12) to encompass topics like the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, bullying, diversity, and any additional concepts which career civil servants at the Department may deem necessary based on additional research from the State Education Resource Center.

It is my hope that by the end of this unit students will have a fundamental understanding of the history of the LGBTQ movement, understand the bullying/bystander effect, engage in a class discussion about diversity and tolerance, and any additional concepts as adopted by the Board and approved by the Superintendent of Schools.

This legislation is not intended to set a ceiling for LGBTQ+ education, it is supposed to set a floor to empower local boards of education on how to implement and innovate regarding the curriculum. Our teachers know our students best. Over the course of the last decade, education has evolved and become more focused on an interdisciplinary approach.

As it relates to the financial literacy bill. Connecticut’s youth are woefully unprepared when they graduate high school when it comes to finances and personal financial management. It is critical that students are prepared for the future. While my generation might have failed in this aspect of education and economic circumstances might not have gone in our favor; we have a moral obligation to ensure that future generations are prepared. According to, A 2008 SDE survey of Connecticut high schools shows that 116 of 171 schools offer a personal finance course. There is more that we can do. Once again — setting a floor for all, and allowing individual Boards of Education to add more to the state’s standards.

For the committee’s consideration, attached to my testimony is two documents that outline in greater detail some aspects which I believe should be included in a statewide personal finance curriculum. First, the personal finance course catalog entry for Joel Barlow High School (ER9) in Redding — my alma mater. The second document includes what I believe would be a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to instructing students when it comes to financial education.

I hope both of these concepts pass out of committee, are voted favorably by the General Assembly, and sent to the governor for his signature for implementation by the 2025 school year.

An innovative, passionate, and outspoken leader who pursues change in public policy to make a difference!— Follow on twitter & facebook: @JohnBoardCT.