Town To Get $915,000 More For Education

May 27, 2016

Legislators representing East Hartford have secured an additional $915,000 for the town school system in the new state budget approved earlier this month. The extra funding will help the town because of its inordinate percentage of students who attend magnet schools outside of East Hartford.

“We’ve been fighting for quite some time to get this money to address a long-standing inequity in the way the state provides funding for education,” Rep. Henry Genga (D-East Hartford) said.

“East Hartford has an inordinate percentage of students who attend magnet schools outside of town, and the state’s educational cost-sharing (ECS) funding formula does not take that inequity into account. State funding for East Hartford education has been inadequate, and I am very happy we’ve been able to obtain the money that the town deserves,” said Genga, the longest serving member of the East Hartford legislative delegation.

“East Hartford has been the most deeply impacted district by the expansion of the magnet school system and this change in policy is meant to relieve East Hartford schools from the financial burden placed on our district because of state policy decisions and lawsuits it faces,” said Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford). “The policy change was achieved without negatively impacting the magnet school system so they can continue to provide a high quality education to their students and families. We are proud to have been able to change the policy despite the financial constraints we faced.”

“This is a great opportunity for tax relief for East Hartford residents, because any additional funding the town receives for schools should translate to savings on local tax bills,” Sen. Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) said. “The more money the state can contribute, the better off we are. I commend Representative Genga for his painstaking efforts to ensure that East Hartford kids are taken care of.”

“As an unintended consequence to the Sheff vs. O’Neill decision, East Hartford public schools have seen a dramatic increase, almost 400 percent over the last eight years, in their court-mandated tuition bills with no room for reprieve,” said Rep. Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford).

“As the former chairman of the board of education and now a state representative, I have been part of a tremendous team of legislators and educators that have advocated for relief over the last few years and we truly appreciate the support of the governor, the state Department of Education and the legislature for identifying consistent funds to minimize the financial impact to the board’s annual budget,” he said.

“Obtaining this funding was the result of a great collaboration among members of the legislative delegation, Governor Malloy, Mayor Marcia Leclerc, the board of education and school officials,” Genga said.