During the Holiday break municipalities got a surprise — and not the good kind.
This Thursday, the governor’s budget office sent notice to municipal leaders announcing an anticipated $50 million in cuts, including $20 million in cuts to education aid.
This comes in addition to $84 million in education cuts this fiscal year, and after the ground-breaking CCJEF decision deemed the way the state doled out education funding unconstitutional.
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas with the Connecticut Mirror has the story:
“While every town is touched by the reductions announced Thursday, the cuts to education largely fall on the state’s wealthiest communities. For example, Greenwich, the state’s most affluent community, will loose [sic] $1.3 million, a 90 percent cut to its Education Cost Sharing grant. The state’s poorest community, Hartford, will lose $250,000, a 0.1 percent cut in education aid. (See town-by-town breakdown below)
However, this $20 million mid-year cut in education aid comes in addition to the $84 million cut to education in the adopted state budget for the current fiscal year. Those cuts largely fell on the state’s most impoverished school districts.
Even with the cuts announced Thursday, several communities still come out ahead on state education aid from the previous year. West Hartford fares the best, with a $1.1 million increase over last year.”
While affluent districts are being hit the hardest; Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven are all looking at $250,000 in potential midyear cuts.
If this isn’t an indication that the state needs to deal with the issue of education funding, I don’t know what is.
These last minute mid-year fixes solve the “budget-hole,” but they also put districts in a horrible position that has real consequences for students.
We need a funding formula that works. That takes into account the state’s finances while also making sure resources are equitably distributed.
It’s time to stop the stalling.
To see how your town fared, the Connecticut Mirror published estimated cuts here.
Here are the state’s letters to municipal leaders, originally published by the CT Mirror