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CT Examiner: Schools Districts Embrace Accelerated State Aid to Solve Fiscal Cliff, Replace Federal Dollars

 -  Emilia Otte, CT Examiner

Public school superintendents are hailing a proposal to accelerate growth in state aid as a solution for the expiration of federal covid dollars used to increase staffing and pay for programs in many districts over the last three years.

At a forum at the state Capitol on Wednesday, officials from public schools, charter schools and magnet schools spoke about how a change to the school funding formula would allow them to retain staff.

According to Michael Morton, deputy executive director for communications and operations at the School and State Finance Project, a nonprofit organization for equitable education funding, estimated that the change would cost about $275 million in additional education funding in year 2025.

The bill, which was proposed last year but did not pass — would accelerate the phase-in of a formula that was meant to gradually increase state aid for the majority of schools in the state over a period of 10 years — from 2019 through 2029. According to the current proposal, the districts would receive the full amount of funding beginning in FY 2025 — the same year that districts will lose federal COVID funding.