On Tuesday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ended 2017’s longest state budget stalemate by signing a massive budget bill.
Education reform advocates who have been pushing for school funding reform in the state were pleased to see the General Assembly reach an agreement, but are continuing to push policymakers to fix an inequitable funding system.
As Educators for Excellence-Connecticut points out in their statement, the new budget includes some positives for high-need students, including increased funding for Alliance Districts and an increase in per-student aid for English learners and students in low-income households.
In 2016, E4E-CT members worked with educators across the state to develop recommendations for improving adequacy, equity, accountability, and transparency in school finance. In response to the budget passing, E4E-CT Executive Director Justin Boucher called on the legislative branch to follow their recommendations and develop “a single equitable funding formula that gives every Connecticut student access to an excellent education.”
Similarly, ConnCAN CEO Jen Alexander expressed disappointment that the budget falls short of a real fix. She stated, “the budget discriminates against children who attend public schools of choice but shutting them out of the funding formula.”
The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), with which PIE Network Member the Connecticut Council for Education Reform recently merged, stated the budget is the “first of many moves Connecticut needs to make to improve its economy and grow jobs.” In their recap of the budget, CBIA also praised the decision to direct more funds to towns with students from low-income households.