Poll Backs Court Decision Revamping Ed Funding Formula For Cities

News release from Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now:

The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) today released the results of a public opinion poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, which finds that an overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters (68%) support Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s recent decision calling for a rational education funding formula for the state’s public school system, among other reforms. Further, the poll shows that 57% of voters want the General Assembly to take immediate action to address these issues, rather than wait for the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling on the Moukawsher appeal.

“These results show that there is a clear consensus for action to fix the way Connecticut funds local public schools so it’s fair for every student,” said Danny Franklin, Managing Partner of Benenson Strategy Group, which conducted the poll. “Not only do a strong majority of voters support the decision, but they believe the General Assembly should take action to create a plan for improving Connecticut’s public schools, not delay while the ruling is appealed.”

“The results of this poll are a call to candidates and General Assembly members that Connecticut voters want action now on the education equity issues so poignantly laid out in Judge Moukawsher’s decision,” said Jennifer Alexander, Executive Director of ConnCAN. “Nearly all (87%) of voters know that a strong economy depends on strong public schools. Voters expect our state leaders to use fair and consistent rules to fund all of our public schools and agree that our current lack of a fair, equitable, and predictable education funding formula must be addressed immediately. The poll shows a clear, strong consensus for action, this legislative session, to adopt a fair funding formula that ensures that all of Connecticut’s students, across all types of public schools, have access to the great public education guaranteed by our state constitution.”

Other highlights from the poll:

Only 18% of voters say public schools in Connecticut “are doing a good job educating Connecticut’s children,” while 38% say the schools have “urgent problems” to address immediately and another 38% say Connecticut public schools face “some problems” to be addressed “eventually.”

79% of voters agree that Connecticut should use consistent and fair rules to distribute funding to all kinds of local public schools, including charter schools and traditional public schools, so every student gets the resources they need.

71% of voters agree that state government hasn’t done nearly enough to fix and strengthen Connecticut’s public schools, and they need to stop delaying and take action now.

63% of voters agree that the way Connecticut funds local schools is fundamentally unfair and denies children in poorer areas a fair chance to succeed.

59% of voters agree that the way Connecticut distributes funds to public school districts is arbitrary and not based on a real plan to help all students succeed.

87% of voters agree that for Connecticut to have a strong economy, we need a public school system that prepares every student to succeed in college and in good careers.

The poll of 600 Connecticut voters was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group from October 5-9, 2016 and has a margin of error of ±3.4% at the 95% confidence level.

Find the Benenson Strategy Group poll memo here.



  1. Perhaps I missed the kernel of news here. Current system is unfair, arbitrary, and failing at its task? Immediate remedy required? Court decision backed by 60% or more respondents questioned? All the youth of the State deserve the equal opportunity to receive a public funded education from K (or pre-K) until high school graduation or age 19? What is the news here? Time will tell.

  2. The “kernel” is charter $chools are hoping for a huge payday. CanCON cares solely about charter $chools and the millionaires and billionaires who profit from them and fund charter $chools.

    Attached is an article from the NYT about Detroit Charter $chools, the cost it has reaped in terms of failure at the expense of the children attending, and the misguided approach full of unfulfilled promises.

    Use of Taxpayer Dollars (property owners) for these “Projects” Is Fundamentally Unconstitutional. This has been determined as such in other States and will be here in Connecticut when given keen unbiased legal perusal.

    One could easily substitute “Bridgeport” for “Detroit” or the City of your choice and see the writing on the $choolhouse wall.
    www .nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/for-detroits-children-more-school-choice-but-not-better-schools.html

    1. What about the failing public schools? Failure is failure, public, private or charter schools. Why continue to put public tax dollars in failing public schools? Are there charter schools that are providing good education, if so then why not fund those schools that are truly providing good education and if they are failing then don’t fund those schools but we will continue to fund public schools that are not providing good public education.

      1. Ron,
        What criteria will you suggest for parents, voters or taxpayers to use as a gauge for measuring movement towards success or continuing a slide to failure? Time will tell.

  4. If anyone wants to point a finger at the state of our true public schools it should be squarely pointed at our state leaders including but not limited to our past/current governors, state senators, state representatives who have lacked the political will to address the well-known fact Bridgeport Public Schools have been severely underfunded for over three decades.

    Then you exacerbate the problem by adding charter $chools, which siphoned another $6,000,000 away from the BPS. Charter $chools get $11,000 per pupil, but their “management” companies take $1,100 right off the top and put it into their pockets. That doesn’t fund a single teacher, para, principal, custodian, etc.

    Charter $chools are about $$$, union busting, specifically the most powerful union in this country; the teachers union, and promoting segregation.

    Bill Clinton signed a bill into law shortly before leaving office that allows charter $chool investors a 39% tax credit on these schools on the condition they are opened in “depressed” communities.

    If anyone thinks Gates, Bloomberg, Mandel, Broad, Walmart, Buck, etc. go to sleep worrying about the education of black and Hispanic students in urban communities you are probably being influenced by a Jonathan Sackler/Purdu Pharma painkiller.


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