Achieving equity in education funding


We can no longer afford or wait to leave kids behind in any community. Only through a fully funded state Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula can we achieve that.

Today, I stood with over a hundred state legislators, religious leaders, and education advocates in a unified voice to say that this year we will fully and equitably fund all K-12 Connecticut school students for the first time. A long-sought goal that would achieve what I’ve set out to do since 2017 in creating a more equitable school funding formula.

Currently, the phase-in of this new formula won’t be completed until 2028 but the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place on our students, educators, and school necessitates that we speed up the process. It’s why I’m ready to get House Bill 5003 over the finish line. This bill would fully fund Connecticut’s ECS grant to municipalities starting with the 2024-25 school year. Additionally, it would affirm that every student, no matter what learning environment they go to, should have the resources they need to succeed. The bill would expand need-based funding to charter, magnet, and other public schools of choice.

Together with the leadership of Senate President Martin Looney and Senator Doug McCrory, Co-Chair of the Education Committee, but even more with voices like yours, we will get House Bill 5003 approved. Just today, almost 200 advocates helped to push this bill forward by testifying during a joint public hearing of the Education and Appropriations Committees. Their oral testimony joins hundreds more than have submitted written testimony in support.


John O'Neill February 4, 2023 at 6:15 am

Why wait for the 24-25 school year? Why not now? While Robert is moving in the right direction here, he knows and we know it’s not enough. Although we appreciate the extra dough, it’s quite inadequate. State funding changes are BEHIND the curve. The demographics of Norwalk schools are changing a helluva lot faster than these modified measures. So, while Robert does a victory lap it’s not even close to what’s needed. Maybe a dose of reality would benefit our Senator who caused great harm to Norwalk Police in the summer of 2020…

Bryan Meek February 4, 2023 at 8:45 am

In other words, bend over. How many more $100s of millions will Norwalkers have to shell out to Hartford so we can get a few more crumbs?

When Duff started 20 years ago, 10% of our local budget was state funded, today it’s down to 5%. Don’t be fooled by the one time Covid relief. That $70 million cost Norwalk taxpayers $1 billion in federal borrowing by the time our “share” got here.

This will be more of the same. It’s a government that can’t help itself.

I wish Duff would do something less costly like go help Blumenthal on his crusade to make sure Taylor Swift tickets are affordable.

Justin Matley February 5, 2023 at 11:08 am

It’s a welcome development and a net of ~$2M for Norwalk schools. While this remains incredibly disproportionate to other towns as a result our tax contribution, it’s a start. I hope at some point in the future the legislature can further recognize the unique issues Norwalk and Stamford both present and hyper focus appropriations to mitigate those unique and dynamic needs, perhaps through sped funding or other alternative grant means.

Sue Haynie February 6, 2023 at 7:57 am

The majority of Connecticut public school students read below grade level because teaching kids to read means educators would have to be Required to have the skills to teach them, and most educators do not.

All the money in the world won’t change the fact that Public Schools can’t teach their students to read if the adults in the system don’t want to learn how to do it and if accountability remains a dirty word.

This politicos and their taxpayer funded, expensive blah blah blah gets old

Lisa Brinton February 6, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Many of us have been speaking out, writing letters and giving testimony since 2011 – Bob just started in 2017? Really?

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