Budget Snapshot: Education Funding in State Budget for FYs 2024 and 2025
Jun 6, 2023 - 2 minutes
On June 6, 2023, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a new state budget for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 that increases funding for K-12 education to historic levels.
The budget increases total K-12 education funding by $435 million over the next two years, accelerates full funding of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, increases funding for the Excess Cost grant for students with extraordinary special education needs, and includes $150 million for public schools across the state.
This nonpartisan, independent analysis summarizes policy and funding changes related to K-12 education that are included in the budget and provides estimated town-by-town runs for the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant. Below are some of the key education policies and funding changes in the adopted budget.
- ECS line item is increased by approximately $54.6 million in FY 2024 and $109.1 million in FY 2025 over current funding levels.
- ECS formula’s phase-in schedule is accelerated in FY 2025 to “speed up” funding (56.5% of balance).
- Full funding of the ECS formula is sped up by two years so towns will receive their full grant in FY 2026 instead of FY 2028.
- Towns considered "overfunded" according to the ECS formula, which are currently scheduled to receive decreases in their ECS grants for FYs 2024 and 2025, will be "held harmless" and receive their FY 2023 funding amounts for both fiscal years instead.
- $150 million is appropriated for Education Finance Reform and includes the following approximate funding:
- $68.5 million for local and regional public school districts
- $40.2 million for RESC-operated magnet schools
- $13.3 million for magnet schools operated by local and regional public school districts
- $11.4 million for the Open Choice program
- $9.4 million for state charter schools
- $7.2 million for AgriScience programs
- Funding for Excess Cost grant is increased by $25 million over current level to support students with extraordinary special education needs and associated costs.
- Tuition for magnet schools and AgriScience programs is capped at 58% of FY 2024 levels, starting in FY 2025.
- Funding for the Open Choice program is reduced to reflect enrollment changes, however, due to due to an appropriation of $11.4 million from the Education Finance Reform line item, the Open Choice program will receive an overall increase in funding.
- Funding for state charter schools is increased by $600,000 in FY 2024 and $3 million is provided in FY 2025 for new charter schools in New Haven and Norwalk.
- $16 million is provided in FY 2024 to extend free school meals to all students from families making at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
School and State Finance Project. (2023). Budget Snapshot: Education Funding in Adopted Budget for FYs 2024 and 2025. Hamden, CT: Author. Retrieved from https://schoolstatefinance.org/resource-assets/State-Budget-FYs-2024-and-2025-Education-Snapshot.pdf.