A classroom is set up for the fall semester at Middletown High School. There will be an empty desk between two students. High school students will have to carry their desk shield assigned to them when moving to another class and submit it at the end of the day for sanitization. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
A classroom is set up for the fall semester at Middletown High School. There will be an empty desk between two students. High school students will have to carry their desk shield assigned to them when moving to another class and submit it at the end of the day for sanitization. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

Superintendents were informed Friday that they’ll be getting a fraction of the state funding they requested to help with the additional costs of fully opening schools during COVID.

New Haven – the state’s largest district – will get $5.4 million, about one-third of what the district told the state it needed to hire additional staff and buy cleaning supplies to deal with the pandemic. Likewise, Bridgeport is getting $3.7 million of the $12.5 million it asked for.

Hartford is set to get the most – $11.9 million – and Westport the least: $0.

Statewide, $130.8 million will soon be doled out by the State Department of Education – far short of the $420 million districts told the state recently they will need to open safely. Some of the gap may be covered with any leftover from the $100 million in federal funds districts received last school year to help switch to remote instruction when schools abruptly shut down.

How much each district received was pro-rated based on enrollment and the amount requested and some reimbursements were only available for districts where at least 40% of the students come from low-income families.

The state’s 10 lowest-performing “Opportunity Districts” will receive $44 million – 34% of the funding awarded, despite being responsible for educating just 20% of Connecticut’s public school students.

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.

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