Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy’s proposal to redistribute state school funding from wealthier areas to struggling cities has sparked opposition from well-off towns that are concerned about footing more of the bill.
Under the governor’s proposal, the new school aid formula would measure current enrollment to reflect the shrinking demographics of some small towns and the growing enrollment in cities. The proposal also redefines how the state measures poverty and requires a $10 million boost to special education funding. The plan rejects the long-standing practice at the state Capitol of shielding individual cities and towns from state cuts to education aid.
“That idea that we held communities harmless while they were shrinking meant that we didn’t fund schools that were growing,” Malloy told reporters.
Malloy’s action comes in response to a 2016 court ruling that the state had defaulted on its “constitutional duty” to educate its poorest students equitably.
The Connecticut Education Association plans to spend $100,000 to air a TV ad blasting the governor for creating “a plan that would divide our local public schools into winners and losers.”
“We have a lot of schools in need, but you don’t lift the boats of the poor by poking holes in the boats of the middle class,” said CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg. “Legislators must find a solution that protects funding for every public school.”
Hartford Courant, Feb. 6
The CT Mirror, Feb. 14