Our Reports

The Mismatch Between Funding & Student Needs in Connecticut


This policy briefing from the Connecticut School Finance Project examines the mismatch between public school funding and the learning needs of Connecticut students.

Over the past 10 years, the needs of Connecticut students have changed. While the overall enrollment in Connecticut public schools has decreased by approximately 34,500 students, Connecticut’s students have increased in need.

  • In 2015, 38 percent of Connecticut public school students qualified for free or reduced price lunch, compared to 27 percent in 2006.
  • Additionally, the percent of Connecticut students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) also has increased from 2006 to 2015.

These changes, coupled with the fact that Connecticut’s overall school finance system is not based on student learning needs, have resulted in a mismatch between district need and district resources.

The policy briefing finds the lack of a funding method that fully accounts for student needs has created an inequitable system, which hinders districts with larger, higher-need populations from providing their students with the same opportunities to succeed as districts that serve students with fewer learning needs.