It’s that time again where we start winding down the summer and begin back-to-school preparations. I want to share news and events that will ease the transition for the upcoming school year, tell you about mental health support coming to our students, and break down how to apply for grants for children in need.

Sales Tax Free Week

Connecticut’s 2023 Sales Tax Free Week begins on Sunday, August 20 and runs through Saturday, August 26. This is a great opportunity to take the kids back-to-school shopping or to treat yourself or your loved ones while saving money.

Many retailers in Connecticut offer additional discounts on clothing and footwear during Sales Tax Free Week, providing consumers with even more savings.

During this sales tax holiday, most clothing and footwear items priced under $100 are exempt from the Connecticut sales tax. The exemption during Sales Tax Free Week applies to each eligible item costing under $100, regardless of how many of those items are sold to a customer in the same transaction. The tax holiday applies to purchases made in-store, online, mail-order, and over the phone.

More information about Connecticut’s Sales Tax Holiday, including a list of exempt and taxable items, is available on the Department of Revenue Services website.

Expansion of Free School Meal Program

Hunger and the stigma of not being able to afford school meals is one of the biggest hurdles to learning. I am pleased to report that Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced plans to expand Connecticut’s free school meals program for the 2023-2024 school year, enabling more students to receive access to nutritious breakfast and lunch at no additional cost to them or their families.

Under the plan, the state will invest $16 million in federal funding into the program. Funds will be utilized to support the provision of meals at no cost. Click on the button below to learn more.

Free School Meals Program Press Release

Investments in Education

We made historic investments in education with millions of additional dollars allocated in the budget and a number of legislative measures that enhance Connecticut’s educational system. Click below for more information. Susan will continue to support education as one of the most cost-effective investments we can make for the future of our state.

New Laws Affecting Education


Mental Health Support For Students

The state is answering the call to help children following the unprecedented learning challenges from the pandemic. Windham Public Schools will receive $162,000 to hire and retain school mental health specialists over the next three school years. These funds will support our students so they can excel in and outside of the classroom.

Here is the breakdown:

Lead applicant 2024 Funding 2025 Funding 2026 Funding Total grant award
Windham School District $60,000 $60,000 $42,000 $162,000

CLICK HERE to learn more about school mental health specialist grants.

Grants Available To Help Children In Need

Local Probate Court have annually awarded $2 million in grants from the state Kinship Fund and Respite Fund to guardians of low-income children. The Kinship Fund awards grants up to $550 per child or $2,200 a family per year. The Respite Fund is also capped $2,200 per year. Guardians can apply for both funds, though a separate application for each is required.

Residents can find and fill out the grant applications online then mail it in at:
Windham-Colchester Probate Court (PD28)
979 Main Street, P.O. Box 34
Willimantic, CT 06226

You can reach Windham-Colchester Probate Court at (860) 465-3049 or by going in person. The building is open Monday – Thursday from 7:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Many families in our state are feeling the financial pain of inflation. Probate Court-appointed kinship guardians caring for children may be eligible for thousands of dollars in grants. They can use this money on housing, food, clothing, child care, transportation, glasses, summer camp, and other enrichment activities.


As always, if I can be of assistance to you and your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-240-8585 or email me at [email protected]. Don’t forget to like my Facebook page for news and legislative updates!


Susan Johnson