Betts, Martin Blast Malloy for Plymouth Education Funding Hit

August 23, 2017

HARTFORD —State Representative Whit Betts (R-78) and State Senator Henri Martin (R31) blasted Governor Malloy for his announcement last Friday that he would slash education funding to 139 municipalities across the state including Plymouth. Under the governor’s new plan, Plymouth would lose all of its Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding for FY 18 – a whopping $9.7 million hit.

Rep. Betts today stated, “Our state’s fiscal crisis continues to worsen because of the majority party’s failure to lead, and their inability to produce a state budget. While it is understandable that Governor Malloy has had to institute cuts as a result, it is unconscionable that those cuts would come at the expense of our students. What’s even more alarming is the impending bait and switch tactics that await taxpayers as Democrats prepare to offer a budget package that will undoubtedly include tax increases. I, along with my House Republican colleagues have offered not one, but three budget plans that did not increase taxes, and that attempted to begin the process of lowering costs dealing with collective bargaining. Had we been in the majority, the state would have had a budget in place by our June 7 deadline, and met our legislative obligations. Instead, we are left with a majority party that is in complete disarray and has yet to produce a viable state budget, and with a governor that has chosen to make towns pay for his fiscal mismanagement. Education funding is a priority and should never be held hostage to political maneuvers.”
Sen. Martin said, “With the start of school just around the corner, announcing that Plymouth will not receive any state aid is one of the most indefensible things I have seen Governor Malloy do. Judge Moukawsher’s recent court ruling calls for a new, fair education funding formula. But that’s not what the governor is doing. Instead he is perpetuating the problems of the old system by picking winners and losers based on no substantive formula. Instead of ensuring that all Connecticut students receive a good education, he would handicap the majority of our state’s students, especially those from towns that have been the most fiscally responsible. Instead of raising students’ educational opportunities in the neediest distriocts, he is lowering opportunities for the rest of the state’s schoolchildren. Republicans have proposed a new education spending formula that would provide sufficient funding for all schools in our state. This is the formula the state needs to adopt today.”

The legislators noted that had any of the budget proposals put forward by legislative Republicans since April been adopted, ECS funding to municipalities would have been preserved without raising taxes, and this cut to Plymouth’s education funding would have been unnecessary.