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Duff, Dems slam Republicans, tout education funding

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), center, holds up a copy of what he says is the Republican state budget – a blank sheet of paper – Monday at Norwalk City Hall. Listening are State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137), left, and Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon, right.

Updated, 5:30 p.m.: Clarification, correction due to an editing error: Press release said $1.5 million. 9:30 a.m.: Correction, funding increase relative to FY 2019 levels is $1 million over two years, not $1.5 million.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Democratic legislators met Monday to tout an expected increase in state funding for education and slam their Republican counterparts for not offering a detailed budget of their own.

“In our appropriations budget that was voted on by the Democrats, everybody’s fingerprints are on it, people voted for it, we know where everybody stands,” State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) said, standing outside City Hall.

The two-year budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 would provide Norwalk roughly $500,000 in additional funding in its first year and an additional $1 million in its second, relative to FY 2019 funding levels, according to a Democratic press release.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story

“Republicans gave us a blank sheet of paper. We don’t know where they stand, we don’t know where they are and right now, they are saying zero to education funding, zero to community colleges, zero to UConn, zero to the things that are important to us here in the city of Norwalk,” Duff said.

“With no budget, state Republicans have proposed $0 for state education funding for Norwalk,” a Democratic press release stated.

State Reps. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Terri Wood (R-141) replied with a statement that told a different story:

“Senator Duff willingly chose to ignore the facts when he accused Republicans of providing $0 for Norwalk schools during his press conference this morning. He knew full well that the dollar figure they trumpeted is a product of the bipartisan budget of 2017 supported by House and Senate Republicans. Here’s another fact Senator Duff chose to ignore today – his party’s funding for Norwalk comes with a big price tag – $2 billion in tax increases. Between the tolls, new tax proposals and anti-business policies they’ve presented us with during the 2019 session, it’s evident that the senator and his colleagues have little interest governing in a bipartisan manner, and have chosen a more underhanded approach. The Democrats’ plan for education funding has not changed since two years ago and neither has their tendency to over tax every hardworking individual in the State of Connecticut.”

 

If funding levels in the budget are approved by the full legislature and the governor, it will mean that bipartisan changes to state education funding made two years ago in the 2017 state budget have held. That budget included a 10-year revamp to the state’s Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) formula which factors a community’s wealth and need to determine how much education funding that municipality receives.

A press release issued by Democrats said that over the next two years, Norwalk will receive an additional $1.5 million in state education funding. This is the total increase due to the change in the ECS formula.

“In Fiscal Year 2019, Norwalk received $11,439,365 in state education funding,” the release explained. “The Democratic state budget passed by Appropriations Committee will increase Norwalk’s state education funding by over $500,000 to $11,982,530 for Fiscal Year 2020. In Fiscal Year 2021, Norwalk will receive over $1 million more than Fiscal Year 2019 for a total of $12,525,694.”

Those figures are in line with calculations released in September by Katie Roy of the Connecticut School Finance Project. The ECS changes are phased in over 10 years, so districts will not receive their full funding until Fiscal Year 2028, she explained in September.

Duff said Monday that he “worked hard to make sure that we stick to the formula that was approved two years ago,” which he said were changes that he “spearheaded and shepherded through the bipartisan budget.”

“So, I feel very confident that we can stick with the formula, stick with these increases, and that … we’ll have a funding formula that local districts can plan for over the next several years and not one that’s going to get manipulated every year like it has in the past,” the State Senate Majority Leader said.

Even so, the numbers touted by Democrats are preliminary in that they haven’t been voted on by the full legislature.

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis said in September that the expected increases in state funding barely keep up with inflation. Duff after the press conference declined to respond to Barbis’ allegation.  Barbis did not respond to a Monday email asking if he still felt that way, and what level of state funding would satisfy him.

Duff said he had no idea what additional revenue sources the state will resort to, as those “conversations are ongoing.”  Asked what obstacles stand in the way of a greater funding increase for Norwalk, he cited state pension obligations.

Norwalk Federation of Teachers Union President Mary Yordon and State Reps. Lucy Dathan (D-142), Chris Perone (D-137), and Travis Simms (D-140) also spoke during the presser. Dathan, a member of the Appropriations Committee, praised a $6 million funding increase for magnet schools.

She said magnet schools have benefited Norwalk, and expressed dismay that “this wasn’t a concept that was grasped on the other side of the aisle.”

Duff said afterwards that the $6 million will mean an increase in funding for Side by Side Charter School, but he did not know by how much.

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) also slammed Republicans.

“There was no real initiative from the Republican side. We just heard crickets,” Perone said.

“We live and breathe every dime we try to bring back for our people and it’s more than just overall funding,” Perone said.  He touted other budget items, laid out in the Democratic press release:

 

Investing in Workforce Development

  • “Provides greater funding than the Governor proposed for several workforce development programs including:
    • “Jobs Funnel Programs ($632K each year)
    • “Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative ($1.1 M each year)
    • “Healthcare Apprenticeship Initiative ($500K each year)
    • “Connecticut’s Youth Employment Program ($1 M each year)
    • “Cradle to Career ($100K each year)
    • “Pilot Re-Entry Program ($800K each year)
    • “Veteran Machinists Training ($250K each year)

“Advancing Education

  • “Increases funding for K-12 education by tens of millions of dollars from FY 19 ($42 million in FY 20 & $80 million in FY 21)
  • “Fully funds the ECS formula as required under the ten year phase-in adopted by the bipartisan budget in 2017.
  • “Increases funding for community colleges from FY 19 ($8 million in FY 20 & $10 million in FY 21)

“Supporting Connecticut Families

  • “Includes funding to support the implementation of an increase in the minimum wage
  • “Funds the creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave program
  • “Funds a public health care insurance option for families and small businesses

“Safeguarding Seniors

  • “Provides funding for the Center for Medicare Advocacy ($300K in each year)
  • “Increases funding for Meals on Wheels ($475K in each year)

“Other Investments

  • “Includes funding for Juvenile Justice Outreach ($11.7 M in FY 20 and $10.2 M in FY 21)
  • “Funds services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities including employment and day services for new high school graduates ($6.3 M in FY 20 and $14.6 M in FY 21) as well as individuals aging out of the Department of Children and Families and residential schools ($3 M in FY 20 and $5.7 M in FY 21)
  • “Preserves funding for mental health and substance abuse grants ($1.6 M in each year)
  • “Provides funding for caseload growth in the Birth to Three program ($1.4 M in FY 20 and $2 M in FY 21)
  • “Includes funding for a new State Trooper Class in FY 20
  • “Provides funding to staff Welcome Centers and restore the hours of operation at the Rest Areas on our highways”

 

 

State Rep. Travis Simms (D-140) said everyone had worked very hard to make sure ECS funding is fair and balanced.

“The Appropriations Committee has gone back and put out a very detailed budget,” Duff said. “The Republican budget has put (a blank piece of paper) out, which is nothing. They are not funding education, they are not funding college, they are not funding the things that are very important to us here in this area.”

“We asked them to please come out with a budget,” Duff said. “We’d like to have a bipartisan budget (this year) as well. We’d like to have them not sit on the sidelines, we’d like to have them be part of this process like they were for the last two years.”

38 comments

Lisa Brinton May 7, 2019 at 5:47 am

Peanuts. It’s always been peanuts. Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury take the lion’s share of our income tax dollars. We pay to educate their kids and then our own. We get approximately ten cents back on every dollar we send to Hartford.

The state strategy to cram as many people into Fairfield County (Stamford- Norwalk- Bridgeport) is turning us into a transient renter city with declining owner occupied housing now at 57% and 43% rental. This doesn’t consider the unknown number of illegal apartments.

Our free and reduced lunch student population was 23% in 2004/05. In 2013/14 it was 47% and 2018/19 57%. This is not a good trend.

If a portion of the teacher state pensions get pushed down to the municipalities, due to mismanagement at the state level – it will drive up local property taxes further, as millions of dollars in annual costs get added to our school budget.

To put into context Senator Duff’s ECS funding – The city pulled $6m from the Rainy Day fund for school operating expenses to fund next year’s 2019/20 budget.

Still think we’re keeping up?

Sue Haynie May 7, 2019 at 6:12 am

They’re so proud that over the next two years Norwalk will receive an additional $1,500,000 in educational funding. (that’s $750K a year more…big wow)

Duff, Perone, Latham fail to mention that if they, Connecticut’s legislators, go through with their plan of making cities pay a portion of the Teacher Pensions, that will add about $5,000,000 a year to Norwalk’s education costs–gobbling up that pittance of an increase.

And Duff forgets to mention he sold Norwalk out two years ago when he voted to bail out Hartford instead of taking care of Norwalk.

This is spin, nothing more. Norwalk still gets $0.06 cents back for every $1.00 it sends to Hartford.

M Murray May 7, 2019 at 6:30 am

The problem is that communities send too much money to the state for all of these programs, pay for administrative costs, and then the state sends it back out however they want. Get the state out of the business of controlling the funding to local communities and let local communities run themselves with their own taxes and budgets. Why should we pay taxes to the state for education and have them dole it out to local boards. Cut out the middleman.

Piberman May 7, 2019 at 7:01 am

We’re still eagerly waiting for how Sen. Duff and his Democratic colleagues in the Legislature plan to restart CT’s decade long stagnant economy/employment levels while the rest of the nation enjoys our most vigorous post-War economic expansion. Maybe Sen. Duff and his colleagues can only tackle the small stuff. Rather than reduce CT’s overspending and excessive taxes responsible for our depressed CT economy.

Tony P May 7, 2019 at 7:08 am

Why is Yordon even there? I’m a union member, and I’m embarrassed at the way the unions in general, and her specifically, have behaved. She should be screaming that our dollars go elsewhere, and educating her membership on the dire straits the pension system is in, not holding Duffs pom-poms.

Mike Lyons May 7, 2019 at 7:27 am

The increase in nominal dollar funding for Norwalk next year ballyhooed by Duff et al is 1.9%. The national inflation rate is also running at 1.9%. Which means that in inflation-corrected dollars, this is a zero-dollar increase for Norwalk – which continues to be underfunded by the State for its schools by at least $25 million per year. This press event is a perfect expression of Duff’s performance in Hartford – much ado about nothing.

Bryan Meek May 7, 2019 at 8:05 am

This $500,000, enough to run our school system for 3 hours, is going to cost Norwalk taxpayers at least $50,000,000 in new taxes. And that’s not even including potentially $30,000,000 extra to pay the retirement fund. Was this shameless photo op really worth it and what’s the point of taking cheap shots at people who are actually trying to find sustainable solutions? It takes 45 minutes on a good day to drive from Norwalk to Stamford for the people who have to pay this bill. What are Duff and Perrone doing about that besides nothing?

Andrew May 7, 2019 at 8:06 am

How many years has the Senator been a majority leader? And yet It is always the republican party’s fault.

This is nothing but a propaganda piece and stunt

AL May 7, 2019 at 8:15 am

Crumbs. FF County gets crumbs.
The legislature gave Hartford $500-$700 MILLION in bailout money with more to come. Malloy spent eight years passing out DECD money like it was Halloween candy, over $1.4 BILLION,in the form of corporate welfare.
Supporters of tolls are spending almost a million dollars in a last minute advertising campaign to burden us with another tax and I just looked at my electric bill with the special Green Bank charge that gets swept into the Genera Fund.
Duff is out of touch.
Crumbs are the result.

DrewT May 7, 2019 at 9:07 am

Isn’t Bob just great?’ 100 Years Later and we get pennies on the dollar for “increased aid” to Norwalk. Where is about $20 Million in ECS money we are still owed?’?! And I wonder if he actually read the truth from Gail & Terri?! Those ladies have been fighting for us and continue to fight for us. What really has Photo-Op Bob done?! Wait to be fair he gives out Ice Cream…And not Lucy and Perone just follow along like little puppy’s. Just like Bob did with Malloy and we all see how well that worked out.

Hank May 7, 2019 at 9:29 am

@ Tony P
Agree with you 100%. I am also a union member, and I am embarrassed that Yordan was there.
I’ll never forget her words at Teacher Convocation two years ago when she opened with “If we can survive a year of Trump, we can survive…”
Half the teachers in the crowd booed her.

Kevin Kane May 7, 2019 at 9:39 am

This guy…what a Nancy On Norwalk Inappropriate Language Policy word.

This is lower than peanuts folks, this is dust.

Consider:
Duff Dust: $1,500,000 increase over 2 years
2019 – 2020 School Budget request: $202,000,000 which is $404 million over 2 years

$1.5 million increase on $404 million is a .37% increase. Not 37 percent. Not 3.7 percent. It’s point three seven percent: .37 percent

Considering Norwalks median income is $81,000 this .37% increase is the equivalent of a $300 a year wage increase. Do the math again and it is 82 cents a day.

I guess in the Duff household, an 82 cent increase per day is something to dance about but surely not in any other household.

Perhaps the most embarrassing yet understated aspect is this Duff Dust ONLY made it out of committee and has NOT been voted on in the House. It has not been voted on in the Senate. So it’s a plan but NOT a guarantee. To call them clowns is an insult to the circus but I’ll say it: these clowns hold a press conference to celebrate dust. You can’t make this up folks.

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Norwalk-school-board-approves-202-million-budget-13538878.php

https://www.google.com/search?q=median+salary+norwalk+ct&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS819US819&oq=median+salary+norwalk+ct&aqs=chrome..69i57.5960j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Bob Welsh May 7, 2019 at 9:51 am

Correction: according to the Democratic press release, the increase is $1 million over two years, relative to FY 2019 levels.

I believe the increase over FY 2018 levels is close to $1.5 million.

Mark Daniele May 7, 2019 at 9:55 am

The fact that Ms Yordon is there tells one all they need to know.Mr Duff is clearly the Chuck Schumer want to be here in the state of bankruptcy.He never met a camera or microphone that he didn’t love.He has absolutely no responsibility for the fact that I will sell my house and leave this, my home state.

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell May 7, 2019 at 10:37 am

To be accurate, the increase to our ECS grant will be 5.8% in 19-20, and 4.3% in 20-21. While more state funding would be more than welcome, the current ECS formula is exactly what the community wrote and asked for when we rallied to change the formula. Would it be more advantageous if it were to take effect immediately, rather than phasing in over a decade? Of course! But fudging the numbers to look worse than they are is fake news and spin. If we want to lobby to change the formula again, to 50/50 property value to median income, then that is a conversation we can have as a community. At the time none of our representatives, Democratic or Republican thought that was feasible. But at the time it took a great deal of political capital to get this change, and it is an improvement.

John Levin May 7, 2019 at 11:16 am

I just returned from a trip to Alabama. There, it seems, people who are educated, skilled, and ambitious are anxious to leave the state. One reason given: “the schools in this state are terrible.” Why’s that? Simple, property taxes are extremely low, and public schools are starved for funding. The state’s poor population, mostly black people descended from slaves and former slaves, have been treated like crap since forever. There, the state minimum wage is held low to match the federal minimum of $7.25/hour. The working poor are condemned to live in poverty, and corporate interests rule in the state legislature. Oh – and republicans rule the state and get there wish: property taxes in Montgomery, for example, are about 1/10th of what we pay in Norwalk relative to the value of the home. We can do better, and we do. Good schools, and functioning state and city government don’t just magically appear. In fact, if they aren’t paid for, they disappear fast. Welcome to reality.

Bryan Meek May 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm

5.8% of lint is still lint. Bob Duff did nothing to stop the bailout of Hartford to the tune of $500 million…..or roughly 1000x times the extra crumbs we are getting here and blaming the minority opposition for his total failure is the exact opposite of leadership. His shiny title has cost this city $100s of millions that has been frittered away in the corrupt big cities with almost nothing to show for it.

https://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-br-hartford-coo-colon-rivas-20190502-r2xg4inxirckral7fze6dlwaii-story.html

Victor Cavallo May 7, 2019 at 1:11 pm

All this wasted energy spent whining about Duff’s crumbs for Norwalk is laughable. You either voted for him or didn’t work hard enough to get more people to vote against him. So stop complaining and take your medicine until 2020. The Dems rule because they have the votes and they can lie as much as they want, control you as much as they want and toll and tax you any-which-way they want without conscience or consequence for the next 18 months; enough time to destroy this state even more then they have already destroyed it. And they don’t give a rat’s rump if you disagree or complain. So work harder in 2020 to move him out. Otherwise, rent a U-Haul to move yourself out.

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell May 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm

So, is Bob Duff responsible for overseeing the employees of the Hartford Public Schools? As egregious as your example is, it is not germaine to your argument.

Hartford is a challenging city to govern, with only 49.9% of it’s property taxable. The legislature underpaid the PILOT, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, over the decade following the onset of the great recession, which necessitated the “bailout” of Hartford. If you take the time to speak to people from Hartford, as I did, they will tell you that the underappropriation was a huge problem. The median income in Hartford is $33,841 and the average list price of property is $93 per square foot. Compare that to our median income of $75,161 and our average list price of $294 per square foot.

Blaming Bob Duff for the criminal actions of the HPS COO would be like blaming you for Norwalk’s Chinese electronic funds scam. It’s spin, and politically motivated.

Bryan Meek May 7, 2019 at 1:47 pm

Just before Bob Duff went to Hartford, the city received 10% of its operating revenues from grants.

See pdf page # 73 of the 2001 annual report. $20.6 million in grants out of a $202.8 million budget.

https://www.norwalkct.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5398

Fast forward to now, the city received 5% of its operating revenues from grants.

See pdf page #110 of the 2018 annual report. $17.3 million in grants out of a $348.6 million budget.

https://www.norwalkct.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/14118

In between these years, it has steadily gone down, year after year after year with Bob “standing up for us”. This is on top of the fact that the big city populations have dwindled while ours has grown.

Besides the lack of funding, Bob has helped to pass one unfunded mandate after another. Requiring the city to spend more and more on services without providing funding to support these services.

Refer to pdf page # 147 of the first link. In 2001 there were roughly 300 children classified as requiring SPED services. Today that number is pushing 1800 a 500% increase with the school population having grown less than 10%. This isn’t a point about SPED classification, right or wrong. It is about Bob passing expensive legislation and not paying for it.

I could go on and on about scores of laws that Bob has passed and failed projects that he has supported that have ground this state into the financial abyss, but it gets tiring.

Maybe these two points will help some to finally realize how absurd his finger-pointing exercise was yesterday and to stop carrying his water.

Bryan Meek May 7, 2019 at 1:52 pm

For the $500 million gift to bail out the irresponsible, unaccountable city of Hartford, our State Senator said nothing. Even in the face of this gift and a responsible request to move Hartford City employees to defined contribution plans was greeted with a big screw you, Bob was silent. They wouldn’t even allow it for new hires for crying out loud. Is that leadership? Bob’s responsibility is not to govern the mismanaged city of Hartford, but the power of the purse obligation was subrogated to the Governor to give the store away and Bob did NOTHING about it. We gave Hartford $500 million with NO strings attached whatsoever. Is that standing up for us?

Mike Lyons May 7, 2019 at 2:09 pm

We get about 7% of our school budget from the State. Big cities get more like 75%. But even the average percentage in our DRG group of comparable cities is about 28%. If Norwalk received just that average percentage, we’d get $45.76 million per year from the state, instead of $11.44 million (i.e., $34.32 million more per year). That’s why this dog and pony show press conference is such a joke. Duff is bragging about us getting $540,000 more next year, when in a fairly funded budget we’d be getting $34,320,000 more next year (63 times as much as Duff is allegedly bringing us). For THIS we get a press conference and front-page headline?

John ONeill May 7, 2019 at 3:04 pm

How does your average Norwalk Resident get an independent view of what’s right or wrong? Can someone direct me to the right information? I’ve emailed Bob Duff and Lucy Nathan a few times in the last 2 weeks, and am waiting for a response on those questions…Would anyone be able to tell me what the expected response time should be? I’m sure they’re busy, so I don’t want to bother them too much…

Piberman May 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm

We need be gentler with Sen. Duff – a local real estate broker – who has represented Norwalk for many many years. Everyone knows (almost) CT is in a real fix with a decade long stagnant economy and the Legislators only response is to keep raising State taxes. That’s not a winning strategy. So if Norwalk gets a small increase in State Aid for public schools its really a big win. We’re going to give much more back in the higher taxes Sen. Duff is voting for. The alternative is cutting the State Budget. And Sen. Duff won’t vote for that. The small boost in State aid might just be the only “good news” Norwalk receives from Hartford this year. And Sen. Duff played a roll in securing that increase we’re told. Why complain. It’s going to get a lot worse in CT.

Bryan Meek May 8, 2019 at 12:38 am

@Peter. Silly me. Imagine the Senate Majority Leader being able to secure more than crumbs for his district. Poor Bob is just a victim of the Republicans blank piece of paper. Expecting him to take accountability for the mess he has created is a long shot too I suppose. What was I thinking?

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell May 8, 2019 at 10:35 am

John O’Neill, it can be difficult to sort through the spin to get at the actual facts.

I have found the Connecticut School Finance Project to be a good source of data regarding school funding. Here is their town by town analysis of the Governor’s and Appropriation Committee’s ECS allocations:

http://ctschoolfinance.org/budget-analyses/fy20-21

They also have an analysis that is particular to Norwalk here:
http://ctschoolfinance.org/community-pages

I also found their 2016 analysis of the District Reference Groups very interesting. They have not been updated since 2006, and they ran the numbers and showed that by virtue of our demographics Norwalk should be in a DRG with Stamford and Danbury, the only communities with truly similar situations. http://ctschoolfinance.org/news/2016/10-years-later-an-updated-look-at-cts-district-reference-groups-drgs

I agree with my colleagues that Norwalk should receive more funding for our schools, based on our high needs population. The barrier, at least mathematically, is our high grand list and median income.

Bryan Meek May 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

There is no spinning the fact that our grant funding has dwindled by 50% on Duff’s watch. There is no spinning the fact that his stunt photo op blaming Republicans is beyond absurd.
There is no spinning the fact that those who carry his water embolden his brazenness.

It needs to stop.

Hank May 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm

How do Duff and Rilling keep getting elected?
Oh, that’s right……we are now Bridgeport.

Peter Torrano May 8, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Hey John

I was just wondering. The people in Alabama you mention who are educated, talented and ambitious, are they native to Alabama? If so, did those talented and educated people attend Alabama schools?

I have a degree from UCONN, have certain talents and in my younger and more productive days was ambitious.

I just moved to Mount Pleasant, SC last week. My new neighbor is from Connecticut, too. He was a big earner in his day, but like me moved to a nicer clime, far less taxes, and no tolls on the horizon. Matter of fact, the few people in my new area have apparently moved for the same reasons as did I. Not all from the Nutmeg State, but almost all from the northeast. Just saying.

John ONeill May 8, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Barbara: Thank you, I’ll check those links out…I did find that Hartford spends about $ 20k per student on education..Much more than Norwalk..You would think it would be reversed..

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell May 9, 2019 at 9:21 am

John, I don’t have a lot of information about the running of HPS. I do know that it is more expensive to educate high needs children, so that could account for their higher per pupil expenditure. Also noteworthy is that their board of education is comprised of nine members, four who are elected and four who are appointed. Having a majority of the board who are not accountable to the electorate may explain higher levels of funding.

Bryan Meek May 9, 2019 at 10:15 am

If having four appointed board members yields less accountability (versus elected ones), then one can only conclude that Bob Duff’s bill to have the Mayor appoint the BOE chair makes sense if having no accountability is his goal.

Lisa Brinton May 9, 2019 at 12:00 pm

John,
I don’t know where you got your figures for Hartford per pupil spending, as the data is always shifting slightly and reflects a specific timestamp when the SDE captures it. However, a quick comparison on the State Department of Education Website for ed.sight.ct.gov reveals what many of us have known for a long time regarding how Norwalk gets shortchanged. It’s appalling!

Any attempt by any politician in Norwalk to justify how we get treated is being disingenuous. Stamford is shortchanged as well, but they at least have a larger business tax based to draw from. Norwalk does not. Our homeowners educate students around the state and then pay to educate our own. I provided a quick snapshot comparison between Hartford and Norwalk:

The school data is for the 2016/17 school year (most current year on file) and the ECS data is per the CT Act 17-2 from the special June session

Hartford, 20,142 students
73.5% free and reduce lunch
18.9% ELL
per pupil spending $17,324
FY 2018 ECS allocation $200,518,244

Norwalk, 11,573 students
51.5% free and reduced lunch
15.4% ELL
Per pupil spending $17,466
FY 2018 ECS allocation $11,050,993

Lisa Brinton May 10, 2019 at 11:38 am

John, The website you listed is a non-profit agency. The data I pulled was from the state website. Differences may be attributed to additional grants??? In any event, my point was Norwalk gets less than ten cents back from the state for its tax dollars sent north and then redistributed. Some of that $200m that goes to Hartford and corresponding revenues to Bridgeport, Waterbury and New Haven – originated here in Norwalk. Address that and our per pupil costs would be substantially higher!

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell May 10, 2019 at 2:20 pm

John, the data you are looking at on the CT School finance project site are 17-18, and Lisa is quoting 16-17.

I note a typo above: Hartford has four elected and FIVE appointed members of their Board of Education. The theory behind an appointed BOE is that the Chief Executive can choose people with the appropriate skill sets to make a complimentary team to work for the best results. The negative, more skeptical view would be if people are chosen who do not have the best interests of the students, who might provide a rubber stamp for the mayor.

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