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Analysis of FY 2019 State Education Funding in Bipartisan Budget Adjustment Agreement

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Yesterday, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bipartisan budget adjustment agreement (Senate Bill 543), which made revisions to the state’s biennial budget that was signed into law in October 2017.

Included in these revisions were several changes to state education funding for fiscal year 2019. S.B. 543 maintains the structure of the new Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, set forth in the biennial budget, which is scheduled to be implemented beginning in FY 2019. Additionally, S.B. 543 calculates the ECS formula using updated student and town data, which results in an overall decrease (approximately $403,000) in ECS funding compared to the FY 2019 appropriation contained in the biennial budget.

The budget adjustment agreement also provides (outside of the ECS formula) one-time, supplemental funding of $2.9 million to districts who educated students displaced by Hurricane Maria during FY 2018. This allocation is provided by funds remaining in the ECS budget line item after the distribution of ECS grants, and will be distributed on a per-pupil basis using the highest number of displaced students a town received during FY 2018.

Along with adjustments to the ECS grant funding level, the budget adjustment agreement also alters the funding levels – in comparison to the FY 2019 appropriated amounts contained in the biennial budget – for some other state education grants, including the Excess Cost grant and grants for the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System, vocational agriculture programs, Priority School Districts, and the Open Choice program. Funding levels for each of these grants are detailed in the analysis document described below.

With the passage of S.B. 543, the Connecticut School Finance Project has updated two documents that offer a brief overview of the state education funding contained in the FY 2019 bipartisan budget adjustment agreement.

These two documents are:

  • An analysis featuring town-by-town ECS estimates based on S.B. 543, along with a comparison of those estimates to current funding levels and appropriated ECS amounts for FY 2019 in the current biennial budget. Also included is a table with proposed changes to schools of choice line items and other major education grants.
  • A table outlining how the ECS formula in S.B. 543 compares to the ECS formula in the current biennial state budget.

We hope you find this these updated documents helpful, and that they provide useful information regarding state education funding in the bipartisan budget adjustment agreement that passed the Connecticut General Assembly last night. Should you have any questions or comments regarding these documents or how S.B. 543 impacts state education funding, please email us at info@ctschoolfinance.org.