Budgets · In the State

This Isn’t A “Robin hood” Budget: Poorest Districts Saved From Some Education Cuts, But Will Still Be Hit

Students go back to school in two weeks and state leaders still haven’t figured out how to pass a budget — the uncertainty means that districts have no idea how to plan for the schools year. On Friday things got even more dire.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a new executive order, amending his previous order, which cuts funding to 85 towns throughout the state — obviously, this has caused mass hysteria. Not that it isn’t warranted.

While his executive order shelters the 30 lowest performing districts from cuts to their Education Cost Sharing grant, the main education grant the funds’ school operations, the governor’s executive order cuts $182 million from aid to towns. According to the Connecticut Mirror, 80 percent of which was originally earmarked for the 30 poorest towns.

There are some who are quick to call this a “robin hood” budget plan, but in reality, unlike in the folk tale, there are no winners.

The Connecticut Mirror has the story:

Bridgeport stands to lose an estimated $8 million throughout this fiscal year – a 3 percent cut in overall state education aid. Hartford and New Haven could each lose an estimated $7 million, Norwalk $5 million and Waterbury $4 million.

If the legislature does not adopt a budget that saves these grants by October, districts will start feeling the impact of some of these cuts when the first payments for Family Resource Centers and Priority School District grants historically have gone out. By November, another round of additional education grants are stalled or scaled back.

When Malloy, a Democrat, on Friday announced he would be shielding the 30 lowest-performing school districts from $550 million in necessary cuts to the state’s $2 billion Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, he said it was necessary in order for the state to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to provide students with an adequate education.


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