The Funding Formulas

Connecticut’s legislature has established more than 10 different funding formulas to determine how much money public schools should receive. The Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula was established by the state legislature to distribute approximately $2 billion in state education funding to local public school districts and – in theory – make up the difference between what a community can afford to pay and what it costs to run a public school system.

After several years of not faithfully using an ECS formula and instead funding local public schools through arbitrary block grants, in October 2017, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a new ECS formula as part of the state’s biennial budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

However, the new ECS formula, which began being implemented in fiscal year 2019, only applies to local public schools — keeping in place Connecticut’s disjointed system of more than 10 different education funding formulas.

In addition to the ECS formula, Connecticut has different funding formulas for each “type” of school choice program. Connecticut uses five different formulas for magnet schools, two different formulas for charter schools, and individual formulas for the Connecticut Technical High School System, agriscience programs, and Open Choice program.

Below is a slideshow detailing how money flows through each of Connecticut’s more than 10 school funding formulas.