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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.

  • 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.

  • Funding Formula Guidebook

    In an effort to provide valuable background information about the components of an effective school finance system, and offer options for policymakers to consider, the Connecticut School Finance Project created a comprehensive Funding Formula Guidebook. The Funding Formula Guidebook examines how Connecticut can achieve fair funding for its more than 540,000 students and details a framework for an equitable school finance system.

  • Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative: a solution for funding special education in Connecticut (INFOGRAPHIC)

    This infographic from the Connecticut School Finance Project details a solution to Connecticut’s special education funding challenges, the development and implementation of a Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative (the Co-op). The Co-op is a special education finance system that allows the state and local governments to share in special education costs and keep decisions and delivery of special education services local. The Co-op's purpose is not to either raise or lower a district's special education costs. Rather, the purpose of the Co-op is to make districts' special education costs more predictable.

  • School Transportation for Connecticut's Students

    School transportation is costly and those costs continue to rise. The national average, per-pupil expenditure for transportation of students at public expense has increased 30 percent since 2000, in cost-adjusted dollars. In Connecticut, the average per-pupil cost of student transportation is $885.78, which has increased 42.2 percent since 2000. At the same time as costs have increased, state-level funding for transportation has decreased in Connecticut, and in 2016-17 the state legislature eliminated the majority of state funding for public school transportation. In order to better understand best practices in school transportation requirements and funding structures that could possibly be used in Connecticut, this report analyzes school transportation in several comparison states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

  • Putting Together the Pieces of Connecticut School Finance (INFOGRAPHIC)

    This infographic from the Connecticut School Finance Project details how a well-functioning school finance system is made up of several pieces. The infographic describes how each piece is important to providing students and schools with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. When a piece of the puzzle is missing, students, schools, and communities are negatively impacted.

  • Achieving a Better Proxy for Low-Income Students in Connecticut

    Connecticut currently identifies low-income students based on students’ eligibility for the USDA’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Connecticut students who are eligible for these programs are generally referred to as being eligible for free and reduced price lunch, or “FRPL.” Despite the simplicity of using FRPL-eligibility to identify low-income students, researchers warn FRPL-eligibility may be an inaccurate proxy for low-income students, and instead, they suggest low-income students be identified using multiple income-verified measures. The need for a more accurate, verifiable proxy for low-income students is particularly important given the increase of schools and districts qualifying and participating in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the federal Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. Since its introduction, CEP participation rates in Connecticut have increased annually and are likely to continue increasing as more and more eligible schools and districts adopt the program.