Governor’s Education Funding Proposal Leaves CT School Children Out in the Cold

August 18, 2017

Governor Malloy today shared his vision for the future of education funding for the state of Connecticut. It’s a future that is bleak for the vast majority of our state’s school children.

As this map from the CT Mirror shows, the Governor’s new executive order eliminates all education funding for 85 school districts and dramatically cuts funding to another 54 school districts. In the 30th State Senatorial District, which I represent, only Winchester receives full state education funding. Torrington and North Canaan both have their state education funding reduced by 80 percent. The rest will receive no state education funding.

We are mere weeks from the start of a new school year, even with Torrington taking the step to begin the school year later than originally planned. Legislators need to act now to prevent the governor’s cuts from becoming reality.

The need to adopt a new state budget that properly funds education and municipalities has never been more important.

Months ago, Senate Republicans released a budget with a new Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula that actually increases education spending by $33 million in 2018 and $136 million in 2019. It takes into account students receiving free and reduced-priced lunch, English-language learners, relative wealth, and need. Our budget also provided funding for municipalities and did not require communities to make payments into the teachers retirement plan negotiated by the state.

The adoption of the state employee union contracts negotiated by Gov. Malloy has tied our hands in some ways. It prevents the full savings of the original Senate Republican budget proposal from being realized.  But our new ECS formula and municipal funding formulas can still be used. I call on all of my fellow legislators to come together to work on this crucial matter.

I understand we all will not agree on every aspect of a new state budget, but it is time to put politics and partisanship aside to do what is in the best of all of the state of Connecticut. We need a budget with proper education funding for all state students. We need a budget that provides sufficient municipal funding, that does not force municipalities to raise property taxes that are already too high.

Our children and communities are depending on us to act now and to act together. We are out of time.

Senator Craig Miner represents the 30th State Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Winchester