An ECS tale of two cities: It is the best of times, the worst of times
Connecticut’s Education Cost Sharing inequity continues with a tale of two towns, Hebron and Woodbury.
Hebron and Woodbury are both in the state’s fourth wealth decile.
Hebron’s population is 9,564; its equalized net grand list is $1.098 billion; and its median household income is $101,974.
Woodbury’s population is 9,719; its ENGL is $1.55 billion; and its MHI is $84,868.
Thus, with slightly fewer people, Hebron’s ENGL is about 70 percent of Woodbury’s, and its MHI is 120% of Woodbury’s.
Hebron sends students to a regional district for six grades.
Woodbury sends students to a regional district for 13 grades.
In 2016-17 Hebron received $6.9 million as its ECS grant, 90 percent of its formulaic entitlement.
In 2016-17 Woodbury received $1.2 million as its ECS grant, 38 percent of its formulaic entitlement.
Thus, for each of the past four years Hebron has received $5.7 million more than Woodbury, or almost six times what Woodbury received.
In Gov. Dannel Malloy’s most recent plan, Hebron has 1,588 resident students, 262 Husky A and three English Language Learner students for a need total of 1,668.
Woodbury has 1,180 resident students, 282 Husky A and 19 ELL students for a need total of 1,270.
In the governor’s most recent plan, Hebron would get $3,342,632 plus a regional bonus of $41,443 for a total ECS grant of $3,384,075.
Woodbury would get $0 plus a regional bonus of $117,400 for a total ECS grant of $117,400.
Thus, in the governor’s most recent plan, Hebron would receive $3,266,675 more than Woodbury in 2018 ECS funding.
Hebron would receive 28.8 times what Woodbury receives in Education Cost Sharing funds.
Hebron’s per pupil ECS grant would be $2,131. Woodbury’s per pupil ECS grant would be $100.
For some, it has been and continues to be the best of times, at the expense of others for whom it has been and continues to be the worst of times. And those in Hartford, like Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette continue to ignore the inequity or claim they are helpless to resolve it.
William A. Monti is a member of the Woodbury Board of Finance.
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