Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget for 2018-19 aims to redistribute education funding more aggressively to the state’s lowest-performing school districts than is currently slated.
Malloy wants to send the state’s 33 lowest-performing districts $10.6 million on top of a $16.3 million increase promised by the legislature in the two-year budget it adopted last fall. The new budget proposals represent adjustments for the second year of that plan.
(See proposed state education and non-education aid for your town below.)
The increases for the low-performing districts would be paid for by canceling $15 million in scheduled education increases to the remaining cities and towns and cutting those districts by $62.5 million instead.
Not all of the cuts the Democratic governor proposes are being redistributed, however. Much of it would go to help close the state’s budget deficit.
Overall state municipal aid — including education and non-education aid — would be cut by $96.8 million — a 4 percent reduction from what is slated – with just over two-thirds of that coming from the state’s primary grant to school districts, the Education Cost Sharing grant. The bulk of the remaining cuts would come from reducing how much the state reimburses communities for lost revenue because of tax-exempt property.
The cuts to education would mean 33 of the wealthiest towns would get no education aid. Enfield stands to lose the most, with a $3.3 million cut, followed by West Hartford, Southington, Wallingford and Stratford, all of which would be cut by more than $2 million.
While many towns’ ECS grants would shrink from what was promised in the adopted 2018-19 fiscal year budget, school districts already have felt the impact of most of the cuts this fiscal year. That’s because the legislature ordered the governor to cut $880 million after the budget was in force, and some of that was taken from education grants.
Next fiscal year, the governor’s proposed budget would require he find $65.7 million more. Administration officials have said there are few places left in the budget to achieve savings besides municipal aid.