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.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline 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.

Jake was Data Editor at CT Mirror. He is a former managing editor of The Ridgefield Press, a Hersam Acorn newspaper. He worked for the community newspaper chain as a reporter and editor for five years before joining the Mirror staff. He studied professional writing at Western Connecticut State University and is a graduate student in software engineering at Harvard Extension School.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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