CT school funding overpays wealthy towns, underpays needier, critics say

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It seems like a reasonable standard: No town shall receive less state money to help run its schools than it did in the previous year. But in practice this means several Connecticut school districts in the wealthiest towns — towns that have fewer high-need students — are receiving more money from the state than they would otherwise be entitled to while needier districts get less. Continue Reading →

Op-Ed: Gov. Malloy eliminates vital funding for low-income families

Connecticut’s Community Action Agencies, the state and federally designated antipoverty agencies covering every city and town in Connecticut, are dealing with a devastating cut in Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed FY 2016-2017 biennial budget. For the first time ever, the governor is proposing to completely eliminate Human Services Infrastructure (HSI) funding, the “core” funding for the action agencies, from the budget.  Community Action Agencies provide basic needs services such as food, shelter, heating assistance, and child care to the state’s low- and moderate-income communities in all of our 169 cities and towns. They are able to do so by utilizing a multigenerational, customer-focused, integrated human service delivery system called HSI.  This holistic and accountable approach is proven to effectively equip families with job skills and other tools they need to achieve long-term economic security. Connecticut’s CAAs provide cost-efficient and cost-effective services across all state agencies, and HSI funds are critical for our network to continue to provide basic services in our communities. The proposed elimination of $3.4 million in HSI funds will actually mean a direct cut of almost $5 million in services to low-income families, since these funds are used as a match for federal funds. Continue Reading →

Obamacare once again comes before the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court building

On March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of tax subsidies helping millions of Americans buy health insurance. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for everyone in the three dozen states using healthcare.gov, the federal exchange website. Continue Reading →