HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel Malloy on Wednesday released an analysis of the legislature’s approved budget the indicates cuts to funding streams Norwalk Public Schools relies upon.
The analysis of the Republican budget indicates that it slashes Alliance District funding and Priority School District grants. Norwalk gets $5.5 million in Priority district funding, according to Board of Education Vice Chairman Mike Barbis. Alliance District funds are used to fund Norwalk’s Curriculum and Site Instructional Directors (CISDs), who function partially as assistant principals.
“Governor Dannel P. Malloy today said that the biennial state budget that was introduced by legislative Republicans and adopted last week by the General Assembly significantly reduces – and in some cases completely eliminates – funding streams for the state’s highest need and lowest performing school districts, ignoring a court order to create a more equitable education aid funding system and putting into jeopardy ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap,” the press release said, referring to the lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Educational Funding (CCJEF).
Judge Thomas Moukawsher in September ordered Connecticut to revise its “irrational” educational funding system, in a decision hailed as a victory for CCJEF. Attorney General George Jepsen has appealed that decision.
Malloy’s Wednesday press release said that the Republican budget:
- Eliminates or significantly reduces funding for the state’s major intervention programs in the highest need school districts, including:
- Eliminates funding for the Commissioner’s Network, the state initiative that aims to turn around some of our lowest-performing schools.
- Eliminates $150 million in dedicated funding for Alliance Districts – that aid would now go directly to municipality as part of main ECS funding formula instead of being targeted to educational interventions designed to close achievement gaps in our most challenged districts that educate most of our students with complex needs.
- Reduces funding of Priority School District grants by $23 million over the biennium.
- Significantly impacts the state’s ability to meet requirements under the approved federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, putting over $100 million in federal Title 1 funds in jeopardy.
- Eliminates K-3 Reading Assessment Program.
- Eliminates talent development funding that supports our educators’ continued professional growth.
- Eliminates the School Based Diversion Initiative, which is having a real impact on keeping students engaged in school and reducing school-based arrests.
- Eliminates bilingual education as a stand-alone grant.
“For decades, we have not provided sufficient support to the students who need us the most and as a result, we have seen achievement gaps widen,” Malloy is quoted as saying. “The Republican budget pulls the rug out from under school districts that are starting to turn the curve by eliminating many of our education reform initiatives, while at the same time directing increased funding to our most affluent districts. We cannot risk rolling back the progress we have made over the last several years. The time for bold action to continue our improvement efforts and address the issue of fair funding in our education system is now – and the Republican budget jeopardizes that goal.”