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  • School Finance 101: An introduction to how public schools are funded in Connecticut

    This presentation from the Connecticut School Finance Project examines the state's school finance system as a whole and the challenges it presents. Included in the presentation is information about Connecticut's 11 school funding formulas, the state's varying property tax rates, and the funding and population disparities among school districts across the state.

  • Impact of President Trump's Proposed Education Budget on Connecticut

    On Monday, May 22, President Donald J. Trump released details of his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Termed by the Trump administration as “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” the budget proposal includes a 13.5 percent, or $9.2 billion, cut to federal education spending in FY2018. The proposed cuts include reductions to federal programs and formula grants that support K-12 education, as well as cuts to higher education, including student loan programs. However, this document only examines proposed K-12 federal spending for FY2018. In total, the president’s proposed budget includes $31.9 million in cuts to federal support for K-12 education in Connecticut for FY2018.

  • UPDATED: Comparison and Analysis of School Funding Proposals (May 24)

    During the week of May 15, Governor Dannel Malloy, the General Assembly’s Democratic caucuses, the Senate Republican caucus, and the House Republican caucus, each released updated budget proposals for the FY 2018–FY 2019 biennium that take into consideration the final Consensus Revenue Estimates from the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and the General Assembly’s Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA). In a follow-up to our release on May 2, we have updated our comparison table and analysis of how the various budget proposals, as well as two options for Proposed Senate Bill 2*, impact the Education Costing Sharing (ECS) formula and education funding.

  • Comparison and Analysis of School Funding Proposals (May 2)

    In an effort to provide greater clarity and understanding about how different school finance proposals would impact funding for Connecticut’s public schools, the Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared two documents: a table comparing the components, total costs, and phase-in plans of the different school funding proposals, and an independent analysis providing state education funding estimates for fiscal year 2018 for each town and choice program under each school funding proposal.

  • Analysis of Governor Malloy's Special Education Funding Proposal

    Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal for the FY 2018–2019 biennium disentangles special education funding from the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant by reducing the ECS foundation amount by 22 percent, which is equal to the total amount of the ECS grant that Connecticut currently reports to the U.S. Department of Education is attributable to special education. The Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared an independent analysis examining these proposed changes and how they align with six key principles and practices all special education finance systems should follow, based on a comprehensive 50-state survey examining state special education finance models.

  • HUSKY A Compared to FRPL as a Proxy for Low-income Students

    In his budget proposal released on February 8, Governor Dannel Malloy included several changes to Connecticut's school finance system. Among the changes was a proposal to change the metric used to represent low-income students in the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula from eligibility for free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) to participation in HUSKY A (Connecticut’s children’s Medicaid program). To better understand what this proposed change would mean for school districts and their students, the Connecticut School Finance Project has put together a brief analysis comparing FRPL and HUSKY A as metrics for low-income students in a school funding formula.

  • Summary of Proposed Changes in Governor Malloy’s Connecticut State Department of Education Budget for the FY 2018-19 Biennium

    On February 8, Governor Dannel Malloy proposed his budget for the FY 2018–FY 2019 biennium. Included in this budget proposal were several major changes to the Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) budget, and to the funding of education programs. In an effort to provide useful information for policymakers, educators, community leaders, and all individuals interested in public education in our state, the Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared an independent analysis examining these proposed changes and their budgetary impacts.

  • Analysis of Governor Malloy's Proposed School Finance Changes

    On February 8, Governor Dannel Malloy proposed his budget for the FY 2018–FY 2019 biennium. Included in this budget proposal were several changes to Connecticut's school finance system. In an effort to provide useful information for policymakers, educators, community leaders, and all individuals interested in how Connecticut funds its public schools, the Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared an independent analysis examining the governor's proposed school funding changes. The analysis details the components and characteristics of the governor's proposed changes, and highlights how they account for students with higher learning needs (ex. low-income students, English Learners, students with disabilities). The analysis also examines the formula based on a series of equity metrics.

  • An Answer to Connecticut's Special Education Funding Challenges

    In this report, we provide an overview of the challenges Connecticut currently faces in funding special education and detail a new model for equitably distributing state and local funds to support special education. This model, called the Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative (the Co-op), meets identified best practices for statewide special education finance systems and helps address the challenges Connecticut is currently facing in funding special education services. The Co-op allows state and local governments to share in the cost of funding special education through a cooperative model that uses actuarial principles to increase stability and predictability in special education funding for school districts while ensuring decisions in service delivery remain local. The Co-op aggregates special education costs together at the state level to leverage the fact that, on a statewide basis, special education costs are predictable, even though they are frequently volatile at the district level. Aggregating these costs together creates greater predictability in special education costs for districts and municipalities.

  • An Update on Connecticut Education Spending Transparency

    Two pieces of legislation (Conn. Acts 12-116, passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2012, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed by the U.S. Congress in 2015) require Connecticut to take steps toward greater transparency in education spending. This policy brief provides an update on the implementation status of these pieces of legislation, and examines how they impact transparency in school finance.