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Statement from Executive Director Lisa Hammersley on Passage of Biennial State Budget

Lisa Hammersley, School + State Finance Project

June 10, 2021 - 2 minutes

As this unprecedented legislative session comes to a close and a new state budget has been passed, we want to extend our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to every legislator for their tireless work over the past five months.

We want to especially thank the House and Senate leadership, the leaders of the Appropriations and Education Committees, and Representatives Jeff Currey, Jason Rojas, and Brandon McGee for their hard work and steadfast commitment to fair and equitable education funding.

The budget passed by the legislature last night is another step toward equitable education funding for all of our state’s public school students, and we commend the legislature and Governor Lamont’s administration for coming together, listening to the thousands of residents who advocated this session for a better education funding system, and ultimately strengthening how Connecticut funds it schools.

Among the positive changes it makes to Connecticut’s education funding system, this biennial budget will:

  • Provide greater resources for English Learners and districts with concentrated poverty;
  • Continue the phase-in of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula and deliver much-needed funds to under-resourced districts;
  • Increase funding levels for students attending public schools of choice such as Vo-Ag schools and charter schools; and
  • Begin the transition to student-centered funding by allocating additional money for the phasing in of weighted need-based funds for charter school students.

While we sincerely appreciate the General Assembly taking these significant steps forward, and applaud leadership for making education funding a priority, Connecticut still has a long way to go in order to equitably fund all of our public school students and eliminate the racial disparities that have plagued our education finance system for generations.

We thank the General Assembly for recognizing that more can — and should — be done to improve how Connecticut funds public education, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative work with legislators, the Lamont administration, and stakeholders throughout Connecticut to make equitable, fair, student-centered funding a reality.

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