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.
The analysis details why FRPL needs to be replaced as a proxy to identify low-income students and explains why HUSKY A is a more accurate measure for both identifying low-income students and ensuring additional resources are being driven to higher-need students and districts.
Additionally, the analysis provides a town-by-town comparison of the number of students eligible for FRPL (and therefore identified as low-income for the purposes of the ECS formula) versus the number of students eligible for HUSKY A, who would be identified as low-income for the purposes of the ECS formula if HUSKY A eligibility is used as the indicator to identify low-income students. In nearly all instances, HUSKY A eligibility counts are larger than FRPL counts in Connecticut towns.