Municipalities Advance First Salvo Over MBR
About half a billion – that’s b as in billion – is at stake as state officials and municipal officials worry about who will make up the local deficits created when federal stimulus funds expire this year.
CEA is lobbying Governor Dannel Malloy and state legislators to have the State of Connecticut make up the $540 million hole (created by the loss of federal funds) in the biennial budget that will be decided in the legislative session now underway.
But nothing is for certain in cash-strapped times, and municipalities are calling for the abolition of the Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR). The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) is the lobbying group working vigorously for the abolition. CCM claims the MBR goes against fundamental democracy – it disenfranchises taxpayers from controlling 70 percent of their local budgets.
The MBR essentially ensures that each school district gets a budget that’s at least as big as the previous year’s.
CEA views the MBR as protecting schools from municipal politicians whose first priority is not quality local public schools. That’s why CEA and its members will be contacting lawmakers to tell them to protect the MBR requirement.
Clearly, local schools deserve the minimum that’s passed on from the state. That’s why it’s called the minimum requirement. School standards have never been higher. It’s no time to cut resources to schools. It’s no time to endanger academic programs and drive class sizes even higher. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Don’t you agree?