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Malloy’s latest budget plan shuffles education funding

October 16, 2017

A new budget plan issued Monday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy purports to ease some municipalities into an era of no state aid for education, but it actually leaves some with even less.

Malloy’s new “Bare-Bones” Budget plan — the fourth he has issued as the state enters month four of the fiscal year without one — updates the state’s Education Cost Sharing formula. School districts like Bridgeport would continue to hold onto their existing state allotment. Others, like Fairfield, Trumbull and Westport are among dozens of municipalities that continue to be zeroed out.

Milford, under the latest plan, however, would lose $4 million in ECS funds rather than $2.9 million under Malloy’s Sept. 9th plan. Monroe also takes a deeper cut, losing $4.7 million instead of $1.9 million

Newtown, is one of the communities that would have a lesser blow, losing $3 million under Malloy’s latest plan instead of $4.8 million.

Malloy said his formula maintains focus on school districts most in need of assistance. Overall, ECS funds would shrink by 6 percent to $1.9 billion.

It is a plan, Malloy told reporters on Monday that he would sign.

“As with every budget I have put forth, I remain open to making changes and improvements to this document,” Malloy said in releasing the plan. “No budget is perfect, and none of us have the market cornered on good ideas. At the same time, we must keep in mind that time is of the essence if we want to avoid the most difficult cuts to towns, hospitals, and nonprofits. Simply put, we need to act now on behalf of our constituents.”

The budget also continues to shifts about $280 million in teacher pension costs to municipalities over the next two years. It would disregard a Republican proposal to deepen cuts to higher education.

Malloy called those cuts “just short of despicable.”

In the absence of a state budget, the state has been budgeted by executive orders signed by Malloy.

The state’s fiscal investment in public education is currently on trial, with a broad group of municipalities, parents and advocacy groups arguing this month before the Connecticut Supreme Court that the state is failing to meet is constitutional duty to provide for an adequate educational opportunity for all students regardless of zip code.