It’s being called “the nightmare before Christmas”—massive new cuts in education funding for cities and towns.
It’s so severe, the only option for many towns is to lay off teachers, right before the holidays. Besides the layoffs, the cuts will put student learning at risk, limit already scarce school resources, eliminate programs, and lead to larger class sizes, all in the middle of the school year.
We need you to contact your state legislators today.
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Teachers have been speaking out forcefully against plans to shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns and raise property taxes, saying such plans would unfairly burden local taxpayers and lead to cuts in education and other essential services.
Yesterday it seemed that lawmakers on a key legislative committee were poised to respond to their constituents’ concerns and pass a budget that would maintain the state’s responsibility to fund retirement costs. At the last minute, budget talks fell apart however, and the Appropriations Committee did not approve a budget. Read more
Fed up with continuous budget deficits, Connecticut voters want their state legislators to take action and create a budget that works for all of us—but not on the backs of our children and families.
According to a new survey, voters say improving Connecticut’s future means investing in public schools and creating a new, fairer tax system that keeps taxes low for the middle class and asks corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.
“Voters want to protect public education, children, the economy, and jobs, and they do not want these priorities to be undermined by the next state budget,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “This is the first time we have heard directly from voters regarding how they want Connecticut to handle the state’s fiscal crisis, and their concerns should be used as the foundation for moving forward.” Read more
Education funding and pensions are two issues of particular importance to teachers in the budget plan Governor Malloy released today at the opening of the 2016 legislative session. The governor’s plan will be debated by members of the General Assembly who will also be proposing budget ideas of their own.
To address a funding shortfall, the governor has proposed 5.75 percent reductions in discretionary agency accounts, including municipal aid, for fiscal year 2017. The Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant would be exempt from that 5.75 percent reduction and would be flat funded at the 2016 level.
Districts face rising costs every year so, while flat funding is preferable to a funding cut, it still represents a significant challenge for cities and towns when it comes to providing a quality public education for all students. Other education funding streams would see cuts under the governor’s proposal, including magnet school grants, the Open Choice program, special education grants, and priority school grants.
“By level funding the ECS grant, the governor is putting enormous strain on municipal budgets and homeowners,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The CCJEF v. Rell court case is being heard just about a block from the State Capitol. It is ironic that right around the corner Governor Malloy announced a state budget that takes us ever further away from our goal of reducing the state’s overreliance on the local property tax in order to adequately fund public education.” Read more