Our Reports

All Entries




  • 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.

  • Analysis of Proposed Changes to State Education Funding Contained in Bipartisan Budget Proposal (October 25)

    On October 25, legislative leaders released a bipartisan budget proposal that included several changes to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula and state education funding. 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 these changes. The analysis details the components and characteristics of the state education funding changes contained in the budget proposal. The analysis also examines the formula based on a series of equity metrics and includes a town-by-town list of estimated ECS funding per pupil under the proposal.

  • Comparison and Analysis of 2017 Legislative Session School Funding Proposals

    Throughout the 2017 regular and special legislative sessions, various education funding formulas were proposed or discussed in the Connecticut General Assembly. As these discussions evolved, the Connecticut School Finance Project routinely produced independent analyses comparing the budgetary impacts and structures of the most recent school finance proposals that emerged from legislative discussions. This is a collection of those analyses, organized by the date they were released.