Guglielmo: Local School Districts Need Budget Flexibility

April 2, 2015

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) supports a bill that was voted out the Education Committee this week. House Bill 7019, An Act Concerning the Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR) makes changes to the MBR which should help towns with their education budgets, especially districts dealing with declining enrollment.

“I have consistently supported the updating of this mandate,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “Towns should have more flexibility in managing their budgets, especially in municipalities that consistently show a declining enrollment.”

Studies show student enrollment statewide has gone down 5 percent since 2007. And on average most school systems spend $17,000 or more per student.

The minimum budget requirement is a burden to a municipal school budget. Local leaders currently may only reduce the budget by $3,000 for each student who is no longer enrolled in the district and no more than half of 1 percent of the previous year’s budget.

“Why are we forcing districts to spend more money than is needed? There are currently more than one thousand mandates on the books. They are unfunded, and place an undue burden on towns already grappling with severe budget problems,” added Sen. Guglielmo.

The bill now goes before the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee. The legislative session ends June 3.