Does the Legislature have the political will to fix Connecticut broken school funding system? At least two legislators seem to think so.
In a recent Op-Ed for Connecticut Viewpoints, State Senator Bob Duff and Jason Rojas, urge fellow legislators to prioritize fixing the formula — here’s an excerpt:
“The lawsuit decided last fall and currently in appeal, CCJEF v. Rell, confirmed what we already know about the way we fund public education in Connecticut: while we might spend enough to educate our state’s public school students, we do not share our funding equitably.
The reality is that many of our highest need communities need more resources to support their students. This is too important to wait to address for another year.
Our incredible teachers and students from across the state are doing more with less every day. We know that money alone does not close the persistent achievement gap between low-income and wealthier districts, but we recognize that we must create the conditions for success in all schools. We need a new formula for how we fund public education in Connecticut and we know it is possible this legislative session to act.
We are working on a bill to redesign the way we fund public education in the state that will be more equitable, transparent, and predictable. This plan recommends using one formula for all students, weighted for student learning needs, and based on school enrollment. It also determines the amount a town or city receives from the state to supplement their education costs on both property wealth as well as income levels of residents, to gain a more accurate measure of a municipality’s ability to provide adequately for its students.
So, what does this mean for our towns and schools? It means one unified funding formula that creates a transparent, consistent, and equitable school finance system that can respond as enrollments and demographics—as well as Connecticut’s economy—change…”
If you’d like to read their full Op-ed, here’s a link.