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Malloy Proposes Funding Increase For City Schools

February 5th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Education, News and Events

When Governor Dannel Malloy submits his two-year budget to the state legislature on Wednesday it will include a proposal to allocate roughly $173 million for city schools for the budget year beginning July 1, an increase of roughly $4.3 million from the current budget year. His proposal also calls for an additional $4 million for the budget year starting July 1, 2014. Overall, it’s a five percent increase for the two years. Roughly 75 percent of the city’s education budget comes from state funding. See the governor’s education cost-sharing proposal here. News release from Malloy:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, and leaders from the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut (AFT-CT), today announced a proposal to significantly increase the Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) aid to 117 municipalities, while maintaining level funding to the remaining cities and towns. The additional aid will also target needed resources and support to the state’s 30 underperforming Alliance District schools.

“Last year, with strong bipartisan support, we passed an education reform package that invests in our schools and prepares our students for real-world jobs. Today, we are reaffirming that commitment with additional funding so that we can build on the good work being done by our teachers and education leaders,” said Governor Malloy. “We have an obligation to each and every student in our schools to provide them with a quality public education so they can compete in the 21st Century economy. By recommitting these resources, we are taking a giant step forward toward achieving that goal.”

“The reforms enacted last year were the first step to begin fixing what’s broken in many of our public schools,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “This funding structure will ensure that we continue to pursue our goal of helping turn around struggling schools, allowing successful ones to keep thriving, and better preparing students to move onto high school, college, and the workforce.”

Under the Governor’s proposal, a $50.7 million increase in ECS aid for fiscal year 2014 and a $101.5 million increase in fiscal year 2015 will provide enhanced education aid to 117 cities and towns, as well as focusing aid to Alliance Districts–30 schools districts that educate approximately 41 percent of all Connecticut students.

As part of planning, Alliance Districts will develop comprehensive reform strategies that emphasize three key areas: teacher evaluation and support; implementation of the Common Core State Standards; and the turnaround of lower performing schools.

“The students of Connecticut will benefit enormously from today’s announcement,” said Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “These additional resources will help position our state’s school districts to advance key reforms, such as teacher evaluation, implementation of the Common Core, and turnaround of low-performing schools. It is an honor to stand with this Governor, whose commitment to education has never wavered.”

The Governor also announced a new collaboration between the State Department of Education and the two teachers unions, CEA and AFT-CT, to enable a partnership between local districts and unions to attract top teaching candidates to Connecticut schools, retain our best teachers, and provide advancement opportunities for teachers over the course of their careers.

Funding for recruiting and retaining top teachers will be allocated to two or three districts through a competitive grant process. The Governor expects to make $2 to $3 million available for these efforts.

This proposal is part of the Governor’s legislative package, which will be unveiled on February 6.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • BlackRockGuy

    There needs to be some strings on this money so it goes to the kids and not people connected to Mayor Finch or the B’port Regional Business Council.

  • Ron Mackey

    BlackRockGuy, Amen!!!

  • John Marshall Lee

    BlackRockGuy,
    On the one hand let me say AMEN as Ron Mackey did because I believe you are saying you want EDUCATION DOLLARS from the STATE, FEDS or plain old Bridgeport taxpayers to be spent on people, materials, buildings and equipment that are organized and coordinated by administrators and supervisors at all levels to improve the education of all youths in the public schools.

    I don’t think you meant checks are made out to the kids or their parents, did you? Any more than you want dollars spent on no-show jobs, consultants who deliver less value than promised or expected or materials that sit in storerooms as examples of accusations made in past years about public education.

    You ask for strings and last night one Council member repeated several times, checks and balances, as a mantra of oversight, monitoring and assuring effective use of the funds. Right? Well call me crazy but when the chief executive removes internal auditing as part of internal controls, when Charter provisions and applicable ordinances are ignored or not used by the employed, the elected and/or the appointed we are in trouble. And that is the state of our City. So readers of OIB need to be the “strings” and keep playing this tune until everybody hears the music and begins to behave differently.

    Malloy has proposed. The State legislature has yet to chew this over and arrive at its own conclusions. But at least this gives a timely nod to people putting budgets together at a local level. Can I hear another AMEN? Time will tell.

  • Baffled in Bridgeport

    I took a quick glance at the ECS increases and before everyone jumps up and down with unbridled excitement, take another look. Bridgeport did not win the lottery, not even close. Lots of other towns and cities are getting way more. Where’s all the money Finch said was going to pour in???

  • John Marshall Lee

    Baffled in Bridgeport,
    For the number of children located in a poor urban district, the Bridgeport Public Schools have had a tough time getting attention to fair funding under Educational Cost Sharing formulas for years. Certainly not perfect but changes have been made that keep Hartford on top with 4.61% increase to over $201 Million by June 2015 budget. Bridgeport appears to come in second by that data with an increase to $177,168,000 for a 5.08% change rate.
    When you realize we have four, five or six school properties new or in significant renovation with close to $1 Billion of funding and 80% from the State, it is newsworthy.

    Money pouring in is likely to be an overstatement from City Hall in coming times. Isn’t it time to put real scrutiny on how the revenues are spent and what they are producing with emphasis on current activity, not notions from the past? We all realize the past has been nothing to write home about and has failed many youth, but the school system has been only part of an equation when it comes to raising a generation of youth prepared for productive community life as adults. Come to budget hearings with City departments. Listen to the arguments. Look at the results. Question the leadership. That’s what adults do. How is the City Council functioning? Time will tell.

  • Mojo

    *** GIVE A LITTLE, TAKE A LITTLE, NO? ***

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