Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

CT Mirror: As ESSER funding expires, CT superintendents worry about cuts

Jessika Harkay, CT Mirror

April 18, 2024 - 2 minutes

A vast number of Connecticut superintendents are worrying about student mental health needs, the rising costs of special education and more as federal relief money expires and holes appear in education budgets across the state.

Sixty superintendents responded to an emailed survey from the School and State Finance Project in partnership with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents earlier this year. The results, released Thursday, found that 95% of district leaders believe the loss of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief or ESSER funding “will have at least some impact on students in their district, with 76% saying students would be impacted moderately to a great deal.”

“Over 80% of district leaders surveyed believe the loss of ESSER funding will make it more difficult to address student learning needs, help students with greater learning needs (multilingual learners, students living in poverty), improve student performance and address student mental health needs,” the report said. “Tutoring/academic improvement programs, summer learning programs, and student mental health services are the most likely programs and services to be cut or eliminated when ESSER funding expires. Cuts are estimated to directly impact nearly 64,000 students.”


In the survey, Connecticut district leaders said their top three challenges were increasing student mental health needs, rising special education costs and the increase of student learning needs.

For superintendents of 14 of the state’s lowest performing districts, many said their top challenges were rising special education costs, chronic absenteeism and lack of funding.

Most responding superintendents said the loss of federal funding will make it more difficult to address student needs and improve performance and identified cuts to tutoring programs, summer learning programs and student mental health services, which could impact at least 29,000 students across the state.

View the full article at

Stay Up-to-Date

Sign up to get new reports and the latest data sent right to your inbox.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.