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Analysis of State Education Funding Changes in FY 2019 Budget Adjustment Proposals

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On Friday, Democratic and Republican legislators unveiled separate proposals for fiscal year 2019 budget adjustments. While the budget proposals differ in multiple areas, they are relatively similar when it comes to state education funding.

Both the Democratic and Republican budget proposals maintain 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. The only change to ECS funding in the proposals, compared to the biennial budget, is both proposals calculate the new ECS formula using updated student and town data, which results in an overall decrease of $3.3 million in ECS funding compared to the FY 2019 appropriation contained in the biennial budget.

However, while both proposals fund ECS identically, the two budgets differ on funding levels for magnet schools, state charter schools, the Excess Cost grant, the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System, vocational agriculture programs, and the Commissioner’s Network. These differences in state education funding between the two proposals, along with the proposals’ similarities, are outlined in two documents prepared by the Connecticut School Finance Project.

The two documents detailed below offer brief overviews of the state education funding contained in the FY 2019 budget adjustment proposals put forth this legislative session by Governor Dannel Malloy, legislative Democrats, and legislative Republicans. Additionally, the two documents compare each budget adjustment proposal to the funding levels and practices for the current fiscal year and FY 2019, as prescribed by the biennial state budget (Conn. Acts 17-2 (June Special Session)) that was signed into law in October 2017.

The two documents are:

Finally, it is important to note the FY 2019 budget adjustments proposed by the governor, Democrats, and Republicans are only proposals and are not final or enacted. Connecticut’s budget for FY 2019 remains as detailed in the biennial state budget (Conn. Acts 17-2 (June Special Session)) unless it is modified by the General Assembly. Additionally, should the General Assembly ultimately decide to modify the state’s budget for FY 2019, it is highly unlikely that any of these three proposals will be adopted exactly as proposed.

We hope you find this these documents helpful, and that they provide useful information regarding state education funding in the three FY 2019 budget adjustment proposals put forth so far this legislative session. Should you have any questions or comments regarding these documents or how one of the proposals impacts state education funding, please email us at info@ctschoolfinance.org.