Why is the System Unfair?
Connecticut’s school finance system was set up nearly three decades ago. Since then, it has been altered so many times it now adds to the problems it was trying to solve. The system we have today is unfair to students, schools, and communities across the state. Click here to download an infographic exploring the unfairness in Connecticut's school finance system.
The current system is unfair because:
- Funding isn’t based on student learning needs: Students with special learning needs need more resources to be successful in school. In Connecticut, schools that serve students who need more support don’t necessarily receive more funding.
- The school finance system is illogical and disjointed: Connecticut uses more than 10 different funding formulas. These formulas are not based on the needs of the students in those schools. Instead of being based upon the needs of students, these formulas are based on where the school is located and what type of school it is (traditional district, magnet, charter, etc.).
- Local property taxes very widely: Local property taxes are the largest source of funding for public schools. Community wealth varies widely in our state and some communities have very low property tax rates, while other communities have high property tax rates. This means some communities are able to fund their schools at higher levels than others.
This section looks deeper at the causes of this unfair system by exploring:
- The more than 10 funding formulas used to fund public schools;
- The variance in property taxes between communities, and;
- The mismatch between funding and student learning needs.