Testani Sets Budget Workshops For Schools

School chief Michael Testani has scheduled three budget workshops to discuss the district’s spending plan that begins July 1 for 20,000 students.

The budget proposed by the school system the past four years has largely been wishful thinking. After flatlining school spending, Mayor Joe Ganim promised more money for schools on the campaign trail. Board of Education members and Testani are at the mercy of the government system upon budget submission relying on state resources and will of the mayor and City Council for the final spending plan.

Respective department heads submit their budget requests to the mayor who sends his recommended budget to the council the first week of April. From there it’s the purview of the Budget & Appropriations Committee.

The past couple of cycles the council found some city-side savings to beef up the education budget a bit but many millions shy of school system spending requests.

Ganim has promised more money for schools. The larger question, how much more?

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  1. Thank you for this information Mr. Grimaldi. Anyone interested in hearing first hand here’s a link to my livestream. https://www.facebook.com/joe.sokol.9400/videos/797925170713549/?d=n
    One of the most important takeaways in my opinion is the over reliance of our city on the state to pick up our slack. The city of Bridgeport receives the 2nd most dollars (after Hartford) from the state of CT. A break down of selected districts spending per pupil and state funding is as follows:

    Dollars Per pupil spent
    Bridgeport 14,697
    Waterbury 16048
    New Haven 18064
    Stamford. 19271
    Hartford. 19838

    State funding 19-20

    Bridgeport 182,454,156
    Waterbury. 136,593,833
    New Haven 156,418,986
    Stamford. 11,254,970
    Hartford 205,908,194

    So how is it that each of these other four districts spends more per pupil? The answer is simple, the other four districts, unlike Bridgeport, make up for the shortfall with local tax dollars. I’ll write it again, unlike Bridgeport the other four districts make up for the shortfall with local tax dollars. In fact, Bridgeport is dead last when it comes to funding at the local level!

    Make no mistake, our city is in serious trouble and our children are suffering. Instead of short term “solutions” like knocking down neighborhoods and imposing draconian curfews we need a real solution for our children and city to move forward. We must invest our tax dollars, like every other city, in education. We need to better allocate those tax dollars to provide wrap around education services that educate the whole child, mind body and spirit. It is then and only then that our children will thrive and our city will grow.

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