Governor unveils budget facet that includes 'fairer distribution - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Governor unveils budget facet that includes 'fairer distribution of education aid'

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Gov. Dannel Malloy unveiled a new facet of his budget proposal at the Smalley Academy in New Britain. (WFSB photo) Gov. Dannel Malloy unveiled a new facet of his budget proposal at the Smalley Academy in New Britain. (WFSB photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut's governor has been releasing his budget plan, piece by piece.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced another facet of his proposal at noon on Monday which includes what he called fairer distribution of education aid.

He held a news conference at the Smalley Academy in New Britain.

Malloy said his plan addresses disparities in funding the state's education system.

"I do not believe the formula the state currently operates under meets that standard, and the recent [Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding] ruling agrees," Malloy said. " We must not wait for further court orders before taking bold action to address fair and equitable funding of our public schools.  Any delay and any inaction in repairing how we fund the state’s education system is simply wasted time – especially for the young students of our state whose future opportunities in life depend on the decisions we are making today."

Malloy referred to a ruling last fall on an 11-year-old lawsuit. A state Supreme Court judge ruled that the state must overhaul its education funding system, which currently results in more money for wealthy school districts.

To fix it, Malloy is proposing to update an Education Cost Sharing grant formula, the state's main public education grant awarded to each city and town.

He said the new formula would count current enrollment, recognize shifting demographics of small towns and use a more accurate measure of poverty by replacing a lunch measure with the state's Husky health care data.

Special education funding would also be retooled under Malloy's plan.

Funds would be allocated on an adjusting scale based on a city or town's relative wealth. Districts will be required to seek Medicaid reimbursements for eligible special education services.

Malloy said he's also proposing to allocate an additional $10 million toward special education.

Lastly, he said he's looking to relax a law that requires municipalities to allocate the same town education aid as from the previous year.

The new fiscal year begins on July 1. The state's deficit is expected to be between $1.5 and $1.7 billion.

Malloy began unveiling portions of his repair plan last week.

It included a reduction in the insurance premium rate, mandate relief for municipalities and having towns share in paying for teacher retirement benefits.

Malloy said he'll release the plan in its entirety to lawmakers on Wednesday.

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