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Reimagining School Finance in Connecticut

ONE STATE,
ONE FUTURE

E4E-Connecticut teachers met for seven weeks to learn about efforts around the country to improve adequacy, equity, accountability and transparency in school finance. Their recommendations are informed by surveys from nearly 300 Connecticut teachers and several focus groups with educators to understand the most essential strategies to improve school finance from experienced teachers serving in our state’s classrooms. This conversation will continue as we work to build a coalition around funding equity in our state.

ONE solution

RECOMMENDATIONS ON ADEQUACY AND EQUITY

We must ensure that all schools, regardless of type, receive fair funding from the state to educate their students and safeguard funds for our high-need districts that educate transient populations and are experiencing increasing enrollment.

  1. Define the dollar amount necessary to achieve an adequate education.
  2. Condense the 11 funding formulas into one comprehensive, evidence-based formula.
  3. Replace the hold-harmless provision with a declining-enrollment provision, so that districts receive funding aligned to the number of students they currently serve.
  4. Adjust districts’ funding based on student attendance.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON STUDENT IMPACT

Our dedication to our most vulnerable students should be reflected in our spending. The state should take into account multiple factors that significantly impact students’ abilities to access their learning and should confirm that the increased funding is leading to stronger student outcomes.

1. Include weights in a new comprehensive funding formula, so that students with special needs, English language learners, and students from low-income households receive the resources they need to learn.

2. Evaluate the impact of a weighted formula on students.

3. Provide nonfinancial incentives (ex: greater autonomy and flexibility) to districts demonstrating positive student outcomes.

4. Continue to support Alliance Districts in improving student outcomes.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

We envision funding information that is readily accessible to and easily understood by the public. Without state-level support, districts continue to risk mismanaging funds and spending money without benefiting our students. We create fiscal transparency when stakeholders can access district budgets and expenditures and give input on the efficient use of funds.

1. Provide a single, common budgeting form.

2. Model fiscal transparency for districts.

3. Hold districts accountable to effective and transparent funding.

Our VALUES

“My students deserve every opportunity to succeed. They do not feel they are valued because they have fewer resources.”

Margaret O’Connor

10th grade civics teacher, Central High School, Bridgeport Public Schools