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
The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education serves local and regional boards of education in Connecticut and is dedicated to improving the quality of education throughout the state and the nation. CABE's membership includes 151 school districts representing 90% of the state's public school population. CABE is a leading advocate for public education at the state capitol and in Washington, DC, and offers many types of support services to local boards of education including the Board Member Academy, a continuing education program for local board of education members.
The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) is an organization that represents all of the superintendents and leaders of public schools in Connecticut. Our mission is to lead the continuous improvement of public education for all students by advocating public policy and developing and supporting executive school leaders. In short, it is committed to making sure schools in Connecticut are all they can be for our children.
The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) is a private, non‐profit organization whose purpose is to improve the learning of every student in Connecticut by contributing to the improvement of elementary and secondary education. CAS, through its divisions including the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), works to serve the collective interests and needs of Connecticut schools by providing leadership and professional development services to promote excellence in the education of all students.
Founded in 2004, New Haven-based ConnCAN is the state’s largest education advocacy organization. It brings advocates, policy makers, parents and educators together to change the system and give all kids access to great public schools. For more information about ConnCAN, go to our website at www.ConnCAN.org.
The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works to narrow the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families, children of color, and their peers. We advance our mission by: (1) partnering with Connecticut’s lowest-performing districts (the “Alliance Districts”) to lift their management capacity so that they can better support teaching and learning; (2) advocating for state-level policies designed to narrow gaps in achievement; and (3) increasing public awareness about the need for reform.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2017