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Norwalk BOE expects minor windfall

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk is expecting a significant increase in state funding through the state’s ECS (Educational Cost Sharing) formula, Board of Education Finance Committee Chairman Mike Barbis said Thursday..

After the numbers were updated by the Office of Fiscal Analysis following the passage of the state budget, Norwalk’s total ECS grant for Fiscal Year 2014 was expected to be $254,590 higher than a figure originally sent to board members, he said. The total grant will be $10,999,197.

Nearly $1 million of that will go directly to the board, he said.

“Since Norwalk is an Alliance District, the amount of the ECS grant that comes to the city’s general fund is capped at the amount we received from FY 2011-12, or $10,095,131,” he said in an email. “The entire increase in the ECS grant awarded since FY 2012 ($904,066) goes directly to the Board of Education as the Alliance District Grant. For the current fiscal year (FY 2013), our Alliance District Grant was $577,476, and this amount will be going to $904,066, an increase of $326,590 for FY 2014.”

There may be strings attached.

“As with the Alliance District Grant from this year, the Commissioner of Education will need to approve how these funds are to be used,” he said in an email. “Nevertheless, this represents $326,590 of additional financial resources that will be available to the Norwalk Board of Education next year.”

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said Norwalk Schools are seeing a $1.6 million increase for Fiscal Year 2014 ($1.3 million in the Priority School District grant and the $326,590 in ECS funding Barbis mentioned.)

“Norwalk was the only district in the state to receive a boost in the Priority School grant,” Duff said in an email.

The BOE must reconcile its 2012-2013 budget and solidify its 2013-2014 operating budget by June 30, by city charter. It is not yet know if the additional funds will help the BOE restore the positions cut last year and included in the 2013-14 budget request.

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