State Board of Education Adopts Design Principles for a New Funding Formula in Connecticut
On Wednesday, May 3, the State Board of Education met and heard from a coalition of Connecticut’s leading education organizations — the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) — regarding a set of design principles the coalition jointly developed to guide the creation of a new funding formula for Connecticut schools.
The State Board of Education voted to adopt the six guiding principles. The coalition issued the following statement in response to today’s vote:
“We are pleased that the State Board of Education adopted these six core principles to guide development of a new education funding model. Connecticut lacks a rational, consistent statewide system to fund schools, based on student learning needs. Today’s vote is an encouraging step toward creating a fair funding formula for our state. The members of the coalition look forward to continuing to work with each other and state leaders to develop a fair and sustainable funding formula that serves all of Connecticut’s children.”
The guiding principles include:
- Equity: Student learning needs and enrollment should drive state and local funding. Students at all public schools, including schools of choice, should receive equitable funding. Low-income students, students who are English Learners, and students who require special education services, should be funded according to their learning needs.
- Innovation: The formula should incentivize innovative and efficient practices in support of mastery-based personalized learning.
- Coherence: A single funding formula for all school types should replace the current ECS grant and the various additional per-pupil funding methods. All public schools should be included in a comprehensive student-based funding formula that applies to all students, including additional weights for students with greater learning needs. The formula should take into consideration the amount of money districts are able to save as a result of students transferring to public schools of choice.
- Transparency: Schools and districts should be able to predict their annual funding from both state and local sources and funding levels should be grounded in verifiable and transparent data. The formula should be subject to periodic reviews of its effectiveness.
- Fairness: Education funding is a shared state and local responsibility. State aid for each community should be determined by a combination of factors, including multiple measures of property and income conditions, and concentration of low-income students.
- Accountability: State and local education funds should be used wisely, mindful of broader fiscal constraints in Connecticut, and districts should be accountable for how they use their financial resources. Education expenditures should be transparent and regularly reported so that spending can be compared across schools and districts.
A full copy of the “Design Principles for a New School Funding Formula in Connecticut” report is available for download.
— CABE, CAPSS, CAS, ConnCAN, and CCER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2017