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Making Votes Count for Fair Education Funding

State funding per pupil varies by thousands of dollars a year depending on location. (Michael Anderson/Wikimedia Commons)
State funding per pupil varies by thousands of dollars a year depending on location. (Michael Anderson/Wikimedia Commons)
November 4, 2016

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Education advocates are urging voters to find out what candidates for state office plan to do to solve Connecticut's school funding crisis. In September a state Superior Court judge found that Connecticut has "no rational, substantial and verifiable plan to distribute money for education aid."

Michael Morton, communications manager for the nonpartisan Connecticut School Finance Project, said that's a concern that voters need to be thinking about when they go to the polls next week.

"We want to make sure that those voters have researched the candidates' positions and understand what exactly the school finance system looks like currently in Connecticut and what can be done to improve it," he explained.

Information about the school finance system is available on the Connecticut School Finance Project website at ctschoolfinance.org.

There are more than a half million children in Connecticut's public schools. But Morton said the amount of state spending per student can vary by thousands of dollars a year based on where they live, and which school they attend, not on their needs.

"It is an issue that affects every single person in the state, no matter what political party you belong to, where you live, how much money you make, or whether or not you have children in the school system," he said.

Governor Dannel Malloy has noted the need to address the systemic problems with school funding in the coming legislative session.

Morton noted that it's a problem that has been building for more than 30 years, and every delay in finding a solution only makes it worse.

"As soon as the Legislature and the executive branch can address this problem, the better it will be for students across the state and the better it will be for the state as a whole," he added.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT