Governor’s Revised Education Funding Ignores the Majority of Connecticut’s School Children

August 19, 2017
Governor’s Revised Education Funding Ignores the Majority of Connecticut’s School Children
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 31st State Senatorial District, which I represent, only Bristol receives full state education funding. Thomaston’s state education funding is cut by 70 percent.  Plainville’s state education funding is reduced by 80 percent. Harwinton and Plymouth receive no state education money.
We are mere weeks from the start of a new school year. The need to adopt a new state budget that properly funds education and municipalities has never been more important. Legislators need to act now to prevent the governor’s cuts from becoming reality.
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 and prevents the us from achieving the full savings of the original Senate Republican budget proposal.  However, our new ECS formula and municipal funding formulas can still be used.
It is long past time for all state legislators to come together to take the action our state so badly needs. I understand we all will not agree on every aspect of a new state budget, but we must 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 so local governments are not forced 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 cannot let them down.
State Senator Henri Martin represents the 31st State Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.