Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Snapshot: K-12 Education Funding in Budget Stabilization Bill (H.B. 5523)

May 9, 2024 - 3 minutes

On May 7, 2024, 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 to K-12 education and other areas.

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 partially implements a student-centered funding formula that — for the first time in state history — funds all public school students based on their individual learning needs, no matter where they live or what type of public school they attend.

This is a historic achievement that not only increases funding for Connecticut's students, but helps untangle the state's disjointed and inequitable web of education funding formulas by putting in place for FY 2025 a single, transparent formula to support both local and regional public school districts as well as public schools of choice (magnet schools, AgriScience programs, and charter schools).

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.

This nonpartisan analysis details the changes to state K-12 education funding contained in the budget stabilization bill and how they impact students and schools across the state.

Budget Stabilization Bill: Analysis & Key Takeaways

  • Maintains $150 million in additional funding for K-12 education in FY 2025, which includes:
    • $139.6 million for local and regional public schools, magnet schools, AgriScience programs, and charter schools.
    • $1.5 million for a net expansion of 110 seats at existing charter schools.
    • $5 million in additional tuition assistance for Hartford Public Schools.
    • $1.2 million for Goodwin University Magnet Schools to assist with enrollment expansion and costs associated with the Sheff v. O'Neill settlement.
    • $2.7 million for other K-12 education priorities.
  • Continues accelerated phase-in schedule for the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula.
    • Towns considered "underfunded" are scheduled to receive their fully funded ECS grant in FY 2026.
    • Towns considered "overfunded" according to the ECS formula are "held harmless" and will receive their FY 2023 funding amounts in FY 2025.
  • Partially implements student-centered funding for FY 2025 by funding — for the first time in state history — all public school students based on their individual learning needs.
    • Partially extends ECS weighted funding to students attending public schools of choice (magnet schools, AgriScience programs, and charter schools).
    • Students at magnet schools and AgriScience programs will receive 42% of their full weighted funding in FY 2025.
    • Per current law, charter school students will receive 56.7% of their full weighted funding in FY 2025.
  • Extends cap on the amount of general education tuition magnet schools and AgriScience programs may charge.
    • 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.
    • Cap is estimated to save local and regional public schools $46.5 million in FY 2025.
  • Eliminates cap on number of students an AgriScience program may enroll.
    • Because the tuition cap limits the fiscal impact to sending districts, the statutory cap limiting how many students an AgriScience program may enroll is eliminated.
  • Removes "within available appropriations" language and makes deficiency payment to fully fund AgriScience grant programs for FY 2024.
    • As part of the biennial state budget, the legislature intended to fully fund the per-student state grant for AgriScience students at $5,200 per student. The State’s per-student support was reduced below the $5,200 statutory grant due to an increase in AgriScience enrollment that was beyond what the appropriation could support.
    • The budget stabilization bill removes language that would reduce the AgriScience statutory per-student grants in the future, should a similar situation arise, and provides AgriScience program operators the funding for FY 2024 that was cut.

Citation

School and State Finance Project. (2024). Snapshot: K-12 Education Funding in Budget Stabilization Bill (H.B. 5523). Hamden, CT: Author. Retrieved from https://schoolstatefinance.org/resource-assets/Education-Funding-Snapshot-Budget-Stabilization-Bill.pdf.

Back

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.