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Statement on Passage of Budget Stabilization Bill

Lisa Hammersley, School + State Finance Project

May 08, 2024 - 2 minutes

Yesterday, the General Assembly passed H.B. 5523, a budget stabilization bill that appropriates funds for fiscal year 2025 and makes a number of different policy changes, including funding all public school students based on their learning needs for the first time in state history.

Along with maintaining the $150 million in additional funding for K-12 education in FY 2025 that was allotted as part of the state budget passed last year, the bill overhauls how Connecticut distributes state education funding to school districts. For FY 2025, the bill implements a phased-in student-centered funding formula that — for the first time — funds public school students based on their individual learning needs, no matter where they live or what type of public school they attend.

The bill also extends the cap on general education tuition for magnet schools and AgriScience programs. As a result, for FY 2025 and future years, the per-student tuition amount an operator of a magnet school or an AgriScience program may charge a local or regional school district is capped at 58% of the per-student tuition amount the operator charged in FY 2024. This will result in tens of millions of dollars in savings this coming year, and beyond, for school districts.

Lisa Hammersley, Executive Director of the School and State Finance Project, issued the following statement in response to the passage of the budget stabilization bill and the changes to K-12 education funding.

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The budget stabilization bill passed by the General Assembly marks another significant step toward finally implementing an equitable, student-centered funding system for all public school students.

We applaud the General Assembly and leadership of the House, Senate, and Appropriations and Education Committees for their steadfast commitment to Connecticut’s students and families, and for listening to the voices of parents, educators, superintendents, municipal officials, and community members who called on lawmakers to keep their promises and fund all students fairly.

Time and time again this legislative session, legislators from across the aisle and across the state fought back against proposed cuts to K-12 education and demonstrated the widespread, bipartisan support for full, equitable, and student-centered funding.

While the stabilization bill unfortunately limits many of the funding provisions to next fiscal year only, we look forward to working collaboratively next session with legislators and stakeholders to continue progress and make student-centered funding a reality for years to come.

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