NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Public Schools would get an additional $1.7 million in ECS (Educational Cost Sharing) funds for the next school year under a proposal from Gov. Dannel Malloy released Tuesday morning.
ECS aid to 117 municipalities would be significantly increased, while aid to other cities would remain level, under the proposal, according to a press release. Additional aid also would target needed resources and support to the state’s 30 under-performing Alliance District schools.
The proposal for increased aid comes at a time when the state is facing a $140 million deficit.
A task force was formed in August 2011 to review the ECS formula’s effectiveness and make recommendations for change. Local leaders said the formula is unfair to Norwalk — where a high percentage of students are on the free- or reduced-lunch program, indicating a community with economic issues — and have campaigned for a modification.
The task force results were released recently. Recommendations include a new ECS formula that weighs income more heavily in determining town wealth than under current formula, uses Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) eligibility to determine student need and raises per-student foundation amount while freezing aid to the wealthiest towns.
Under Malloy’s proposal, Norwalk’s ECS entitlement would increase 15.97 percent in 2013-2014, from $10,672,607 to $12,376,887, an increase of $1,704,280.
Norwalk’s ECS entitlement for 2014-2015 would be 31.94 percent higher than its current level under the proposal. It would be $14,081,167, which is $3,408,560 higher than the 2012-2013 amount. That is $1,704,280 higher than the current 2013-2014 proposal.
Malloy was joined by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and leaders from the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut (AFT-CT) Tuesday morning as he announced the proposal – a $50.7 million increase in ECS aid for fiscal year 2014 and a $101.5 million increase in fiscal year 2015.
“Last year, with strong bipartisan support, we passed an education reform package that invests in our schools and prepares our students for real-world jobs. Today, we are reaffirming that commitment with additional funding so that we can build on the good work being done by our teachers and education leaders,” Malloy said in a press release. “We have an obligation to each and every student in our schools to provide them with a quality public education so they can compete in the 21st century economy. By recommitting these resources, we are taking a giant step forward toward achieving that goal.”