On Sunday more than 150 parents, children and education advocates gathered in Middletown for the annual March for Education, meant to celebrate education and learning in Connecticut. The march occurred on the same day Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order took effect, zeroing out education funding for 85 towns across Connecticut.
Fewer and fewer students are enrolling in Connecticut’s schools but that hasn’t stopped education budgets from growing and per-pupil costs from sky-rocketing to previously unheard of levels, according to figures compiled by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments. The median, inflation-adjusted per-student cost in Connecticut has grown 35 percent between 2006 and 2016, largely due to declining enrollment coupled with growing budgets.
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order, which zeroes out education funding for 85 school districts in Connecticut, could result in massive property tax increases - even to towns that are already struggling - if the state legislature cannot reach a budget deal by October 1. The property tax increases needed to deal with the cuts could mean up to a 40 percent increase to the mill rate for some municipalities, equalling 2.5 percent of the average household income in those towns, according to data compiled by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.
Connecticut’s apprenticeship program presents a great opportunity for young people like Jake, but constraints on the number of apprentices an employer can hire may limit that opportunity for many others.
In an effort to deal with the skyrocketing cost of teacher pensions, Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed shifting one-third the cost of the pensions onto towns, a move that will likely drive up property taxes as municipalities scramble to come up with $408 million in 2018. Michigan, on the other hand, has taken step in the opposite direction.
The town of Farmington, population 26,000, will vote Thursday on a school construction project that has sparked debate with its price tag of $135 million. The plan to construct an entirely new high school will take four years to complete but Connecticut’s dire fiscal situation has some town officials and members of the public concerned about the scope and size of the project.