In his proposed budget, Governor Dannel Malloy offers several major changes to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) budget and to the funding of education programs. These changes include:
- Removing roughly $427 million of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, which is the portion of the grant the state has reported as being state aid for special education, and transferring it to a new Special Education grant;
- Transferring the $135 million Excess Cost (special education) grant to the new Special Education grant (total new Special Education grant = $597 million);
- Requiring towns to pay a one-third share of their Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) contribution (for a statewide combined total of $407 million), the costs for which will come from their municipal aid;
- Significantly reducing Family Resource Centers by $3.8 million and Priority School Districts by $4.2 million. These programs support education programs primarily in high-need schools and districts;
- Reducing funding for vocational-agriculture centers ($738,000) and the Connecticut Technical High School System ($730,000), while keeping magnet schools at the estimated FY’17 funding level ($313 million), which is approximately $48 million less than is required to meet the baseline for full enrollment;
- Consolidating a number of accounts while generally reducing overall funding for the newly aligned programs, including state and local charter schools, which would receive less than what they require to meet their full projected enrollment needs but enough to increase subsidies from $11,000 to $11,500 per student for state charter schools;
- Transferring the Office of Higher Education to CSDE; and
- Eliminating a number of limited impact or small programs, including: LEAP, the Connecticut Writing Project, Regional Educational Service Center (RESC) subsidies, and CommPACT schools.
The governor’s proposal also includes changes to the ECS formula. For a complete analysis of the proposed changes, visit ctschoolfinance.org/assets/uploads/files/Formula-Analysis-Governors-Proposed-Budget.pdf.
Note: This summary should not be construed as either supporting or opposing any of the budget provisions and/or changes detailed in this document. Additionally, this summary is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis of the governor’s budget proposal, and instead, focuses on the Connecticut State Department of Education’s budget. As a result, programs possibly impacting K-12 education in Connecticut that are found under other state agency budgets have not been analyzed or included in this summary.