The Funding Formulas
Connecticut’s legislature has established more than 10 different funding formulas to determine how much money public schools should receive. The Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula was established by the state legislature to distribute approximately $2 billion in state education funding to local public school districts and – in theory – make up the difference between what a community can afford to pay and what it costs to run a public school system.
However, Connecticut does not have enough money to pay each community the amount it is owed under the ECS formula. Fully funding the ECS formula would cost Connecticut approximately $600 million more than the state is currently spending. As a result, Connecticut stopped using the ECS formula to distribute state education funding to local public school districts in 2013 and is now making “block grants” (lump sums of money) to each community.
In addition to the ECS formula, Connecticut has different funding formulas for each “type” of school choice program. Connecticut uses five different formulas for magnet schools, two different formulas for charter schools, and individual formulas for the Connecticut Technical High School System, agriscience programs, and Open Choice program.
Below is a slideshow detailing how money flows through each of Connecticut’s more than 10 school funding formulas.