Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Connecticut
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. Instead, the state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut’s funding formula is primarily student-based. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both by applying multipliers to that amount to generate supplemental funding for those students and through program-specific allocations. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019.

As written, Connecticut’s funding formula is primarily student-based. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both by applying multipliers to that amount to generate supplemental funding for those students and through program-specific allocations. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Base Amount

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. The formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, the funding formula includes a fixed base funding amount per student. The most recent base amount used in a Connecticut funding formula was $11,525, and the legislation outlining the new formula does not alter this figure.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would, in theory, be funded at that level.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Local Revenue
Expected Local Share

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. The formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019.  The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise is based on a combination of its property values and its residents’ income.

Under the formula, once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it determines what percentage of this amount the district will be expected to raise locally. It bases this calculation on information about the district’s property values (weighted at 70% within the formula) and its median household income (weighted at 30%).  Additionally, the formula requires the state to fund a minimum of 1% of each district’s necessary funding, regardless of its local wealth.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Property Tax Floors and Ceilings

Connecticut does not set a floor or a ceiling for local property tax rates, or a level above which voter approval is required. School districts in Connecticut may not directly impose taxes; property taxes for education are imposed by municipalities.

Municipalities may levy and collect a property tax on motor vehicles of up to $45.00 for every $1,000 of assessed local property wealth. Some of the revenue from this tax may be used to fund public schools. Connecticut does not set a ceiling for other types of property taxes.

References:
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-71e (Lexis 2017).
Other Local Taxes for Education

School districts in Connecticut may receive local revenue from property taxes and from motor vehicle taxes.

School districts in Connecticut may not directly impose taxes and rely on municipalities to raise revenue. Municipalities may levy property taxes and motor vehicle taxes to fund a variety of local services, including public education.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-262f (Lexis 2017).
District Characteristics
Grade Level

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula does not differentiate funding based on students’ grade levels.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
English-Language Learner

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula provides increased funding for English-language learners (ELLs). It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.15 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

For funding purposes, ELLs are all students reported as ELLs to the Connecticut Department of Education by the local or regional board of education.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-76kk (Lexis 2017).
Poverty

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula provides increased funding for students from low-income households and for districts with high concentrations of low-income students. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.3 to the base per-pupil amount for these students. For districts where at least 75% of students are from low-income backgrounds, low-income students above this threshold generate supplemental funding equal to an additional 0.05 times the base per-pupil amount.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Special Education

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula does not provide increased funding for special education in most cases, and state funds are set aside only for extremely high-cost or atypical special-needs students.

While services for students with disabilities are generally funded out of the base amount under the formula, the state maintains a catastrophic fund, the Excess Cost grant, to limit districts’ liability for the cost of providing services to students with extraordinary needs. The Excess Cost grant provides reimbursement when the cost of educating a student with disabilities exceeds 4.5 times the district’s net current expenditure per pupil.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Office of Fiscal Analysis and Office of Legislative Research, “CT Special Education Funding,” (Presentation, January 23, 2014),
Gifted

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula does not provide increased funding for gifted and talented students.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Career and Technical Education

Connecticut provides increased funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It does so through direct support for the Regional Vocational-Technical School System, the expenses of technical high schools, and vocational agriculture programs.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),
Sparsity and/or Small Size

Connecticut passed a new education funding formula in 2017 but is not yet making use of this formula. This formula is scheduled to go into effect in FY2019. The state legislature currently awards each district a block grant. The FY2018 grant amounts are derived from the amounts distributed in FY2017 in a manner specified in legislation.

As written, Connecticut's funding formula does not provide increased funding for sparse districts or for small schools or districts.

References:
An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019. SB 1502, CT General Assembly, June Sp. Sess. (2017),