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  • Regional Cooperation Impacting School Districts

    This policy brief examines Connecticut statutes and legislation that relate to a school district's ability to pursue regionalization. The policy brief summarizes methods of regional cooperation impacting public school districts in Connecticut, and details recent proposals to increase or incentivize regional cooperation.

  • Analysis of State Education Funding Changes in Governor's Proposed FY 2019 Budget Adjustments

    On February 5, 2018, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy released his recommended budget adjustments for fiscal year 2019. Included in this budget proposal were several changes to state education funding, including changes to funding levels for the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, schools of choice, and other education grants. The Connecticut School Finance Project has prepared two documents that offer a brief overview of the governor’s proposed budget adjustments for FY 2019, and compare the proposed adjustments to the biennial state budget that was signed into law in October 2017.

  • History of School Finance in Connecticut

    The Connecticut School Finance Project has compiled a comprehensive history of changes to the state's school finance system. The history spans from 1927 to present day and highlights significant policy changes, court cases, task forces, and events that have shaped the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

  • Connecticut State Education Grants

    In the adopted fiscal year 2017-18 Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) budget of $2.93 billion, approximately $2.90 billion (or 99 percent) can be categorized as grants. Almost 70 percent of the CSDE grants are for the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant. The remainder of the grants can be categorized as grants to: towns (excluding the ECS grant), public schools of choice, entities that are not towns, and other programs (Other Current Expenses). This report details these grants and compares their FY 2016-17 actual expenditures with the their budget appropriations for FY 2017-18.

  • Comparing Connecticut's School Construction Program

    In Connecticut, the cost per square foot for school construction, adjusted for inflation, increased 64 percent between 2000 and 2012. This report examines the costs, processes, and state funding associated with school construction in Connecticut and its peer states. The report also examines legislative changes made in 2017 to Connecticut's school construction grant program.

  • The Research on District Consolidation and Vermont's Recent Efforts

    This policy brief provides a summary of the academic research on the benefits and drawbacks of state-led efforts to encourage, or require, school districts with low enrollments or density to consolidate. Consolidation of school districts has existed throughout the 20th century. Between 1940 and 2013, the number of school districts in the United States decreased from approximately 117,000 to approximately 14,000. This policy brief also summarizes Vermont’s school district consolidation efforts with a specific focus on the content and impact of Act 46, passed in 2015, and Act 49, passed in 2017.

  • 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. The following policy brief provides an update on the implementation status of these pieces of legislation, and examines how they impact transparency in school finance.

  • Glossary of School Finance Terms

    Glossary compiled by the Connecticut School Finance Project defining terms related to school funding in Connecticut.

  • Analysis of the Impact of Budget Holdbacks on State Education Funding

    On Friday, November 17, Governor Dannel Malloy announced budgetary “holdbacks” — or cuts —that impact state education funding for school districts and towns across Connecticut. Among the reductions to state education funding included in the holdbacks announced by the governor last week are a $58 million cut to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, a $3.6 million cut to the Excess Cost grant, and an $18.5 million cut to the State Magnet School grant. In response to these latest reductions, the Connecticut School Finance Project created an independent analysis detailing state education funding for fiscal year 2018. Included in the analysis is a town-by-town list of estimated fiscal year 2018 ECS grants, as well as a town-by-town list of total estimated state education funding for fiscal year 2018.

  • Summary of the FY 2018 and FY 2019 Budget for the Connecticut State Department of Education

    This document summarizes how the State of Connecticut’s biennial budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 impacts funding for the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). For FY 2018, the CSDE budget is $2.93 billion, $60 million (two percent) less than the department’s FY 2017 revised appropriation. In FY 2019, the CSDE budget is raised by $38 million to $2.97 billion — a decrease of about $23 million (0.75 percent) compared to the department’s FY 2017 revised appropriation.