In recent years, the state has increased the amount of education funding it sends cities and towns in an effort to direct funding to the towns that need it the most.

But the education spending formula — which directs state spending to municipalities that have higher concentrations of poverty, less ability to raise revenue locally for education and more high-needs students — has been capped throughout the years.

These caps have led to huge disparities in what towns are owed and what they actually receive.

For example, West Hartford this year will receive only 32 percent of what it is entitled to if the formula were fully funded, which translates to being underfunded by $37.7 million. West Hartford is one of five communities that receives less than one-third of what it’s owed based on need. By comparison, 50 cities and towns receive 100 percent of what they are entitled to.

If the spending cap on education were removed this year, the state would have to pay an additional $687.6 million to fully fund the formula. The legislature’s budget-writing committee last week recommended that the state add an additional $48.5 million into the budget for the coming year — a move that would direct most of the increase to the state’s lowest-performing districts.

The interactive chart below shows what each district currently receives, and what each is entitled to, according to the education-funding formula.

 

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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