Here’s something that state leaders should watch! Below is parent and Bridgeport Board of Education candidate Chaila Robinson’s emotional plea for equitable school funding, where she talks about the real impact of the legislature’s neglect:
Bridgeport is in a particularly tough situation. The district had to cut paraprofessionals and other support services due to the expected flat funding of their main operating grant. If that wasn’t bad enough, the district also recently found out that they are losing $1.4 million in federal grants that pay for things like kindergarten staff and reading coaches.
Will Legislators Step Up?
Today, state leaders are expected to vote on a budget plan — whether that will actually happen is yet to be determined.
As of yet, no passable budget plan has been released. Only a few details from conversations between Democratic leaders, but nothing finalized. Which is a problem, since time is running out.
If the state doesn’t pass a budget before September 30th, school districts stand to lose out. That’s because the first week of October is when the state’s first grant payments to schools go out. Gov. Dannel Malloy did rewrite his executive order as a fail safe in case this happened, but that fail safe is flawed because the governor doesn’t have the power to reallocate funds in the same way that the legislature does.
While the state’s 30 lowest performing districts will not lose any money in their Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, the main grant schools receive from the state. Other grants — for example the alliance district grant — are being slashed.
This could be devastating to districts already having a hard time retaining vital services.