Where the State’s new money for local education is going under Governor Malloy’s Education Reform Plan

Achievement First Charter Schools get $2,600 more per student while the 222,000 students in the 30 poorest towns get an increase of $150 per student.

School District

Number of Students*

Increase in Funds*

Increase per student*

Achievement First – The Charter School Company

2,440 (approx)

$6.2 million plus

$2,600

Waterbury

17,656

$4.4 million

$249

Hartford

20,774

$3.7 million

$178

Bridgeport

21,054

$3.3 million

$156

New Britain

10,854

$2.7 million

$245

New Haven

17,633

$2.3 million

$130

Meriden

9,187

$1.8 million

$193

East Hartford

8,027

$1.7 million

$214

Danbury

10,505

$1.7 million

$176

Bristol

8,762

$1.3 million

$159

West Haven

7,390

$1.4 million

$187

Manchester

7,502

$1.2 million

$160

Middletown

5,384

$798,000

$148

Windham

3,345

$764,000

$228

Norwich

11,165

$730,000

$65

Vernon

3,735

$670,000

$180

Naugatuck

4,855

$635,000

$131

New London

5,384

$620,000

$115

Stamford

15,127

$600,000

$40

Hamden

6,945

$583,000

$84

*IMPORTANT NOTE:

The Educational Cost Sharing Formula is $800 million short of what it was supposed to be in order to assure sufficient funding for primary and secondary education. Connecticut’s stated goal was to cover 50% of local educational costs with state funds and 50% with local funds.

In 1990 the state reached its high point of funding 45% of the costs – the number now is between 38-40% depending on how you calculate it – but the formula has been “corrupted” to the point where wealthy towns do much better (as measured by percentage growth) now than they did in 1990 and poorer towns do much worse.

Of the $50 million in new ECS funding, Governor Malloy’s proposal will send $39.5 million to the 30 poorest and lowest performing communities.

However, Governor Malloy’s plan also requires that school districts transfer $1,000 for each student attending an area charter.  Malloy’s budget also provides each charter school with an increase of $1,600 per charter student, for a combined $2,600 increase per charter school student when the new state money and local transfer are counted

Once the transfers to the charter schools are made, the 30 poorest districts will then be sharing $33.5 million in new education funds.

  • Jeff Klaus

    Jon, Do you really think that this is an objective analysis?

    Why don’t you present a chart of what public school funding for charters has been for the last 12 years? To show the increase in per pupil allocation in a vacum without mentioning that the public charter school students have been short changed by the state for a dozen years seems to be pretty selective analysis, no?

    • jonpelto

      good suggestions, I’ll do that.

    • Allison

      How have they been shortchanged Jeff? Being able to select students, demand parental involvement and be autonomous from what traditional school have to deal with sounds like a fair trade off, no?

  • Allison

    I’m curious if you have a breakdown of what other towns besides poorer ones will get. How much do middle class towns stand to lose?

    • jonpelto

      I’ll see if I can find a link to this data. The way it is set up, about $40 million goes to the 30 poorest towns, $10 million is spread out to the “middle class towns” and the wealthiest towns get no addition funds. Of course, the problem is even where teachers have agreed to a wage freeze you have increasing costs – without additional state aid – those extra dollars will have to come from the local property tax which is much more unfair for the middle class than raising money through the income tax (assuming you don’t let the millionaires off the hook like the Governor did). Take a town like Cheshire they get $77,000 which is $16 more per student or Milford which gets $45 dollars more per student or Woodbury which gets $14 more per student.

  • Jeff Klaus

    Allison, charter students have been short changed because they attend public schools which have not received the same resources as most other traditional schools. The costs to run charters are approximately the same as district schools. Why would some kids only be worth 75% of others?

    Charter schools receive their students by lottery. No selectivity. There are no special parental involvement rules that traditional schools must abide by that charters do not. And what restrictions or obligations do traditional schools have to deal with which do not apply to charters?

  • Allison

    Jeff,
    Just the fact that parents have to apply for a lottery shows that they care…and kids must do well. I’m having a very hard time lately believing that no rules are bent regarding the lottery too – for a school it’s size, Capital Prep sure has a wide range of athletic talent).

    Finally, how much money do charters take from private business? How much money can regular public schools take from private business?

  • Jeff Klaus

    Allison, I don’t kjnow how the lottery is run in Hartford but in New Haven the district runs the lottery for ALL public schools, not just charters. Amistad Academy is simply another choice offered to all public school parents. And New Haven like Hartford is largely a choice district in which the majority of parents participate. I haven’t met a parent who doesn’t care about their child. They may not always the right decision to make – but they care. And most parents in a choice district like New Haven care enough to list their name, adress, first choice, second choice, third choice. The lottery is as simple as that.

    And if rules are broken, and I have no knowledge that there are, those rules are broken by the Board of Education and not the charter schools. The lottery to get into Amistad has been run by the school district for years.

    To your finance question, some charters raise lots of money from private business. Some raise none at all. It depends on the charter. But there are absolutely no rules or laws whatsoever that make a distinction between what charters can raise privately and what traditional public schools can raise. To that point, the mayor of New Haven was out in Seattle last weekend at a Gates Foundation event. Private fundraising is on every large district’s agenda in CT. including Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport.

  • PublicCharterMom

    Jon,
    2 clarifying questions:
    1. Are the the 19 listed in the table above part of the 30 poorest districts?
    2. According to your math and based on what you listed on the table Achievement First is the only public charter getting funds: am I missing something here?