Governor’s Budget Proposal Includes Historic Investments For Both K-12 Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today expressed his support for sending state funding intended for education services directly to classrooms, saying that students will benefit best when this money is used to support the hiring of teachers and the purchasing of necessary classroom equipment.

The governor’s fiscal year 2025 budget proposal that he presented to the legislature earlier this month recommends:

  • Increasing education cost sharing (ECS) funds to K-12 school districts by $128.8 million over the current fiscal year; and
  • Increasing state funding for early childhood education by $43.4 million over the current fiscal year.

The increase in ECS funding will help Connecticut reach full funding of the formula by fiscal year 2026, a full two years sooner than the original ten-year goal. Additionally, the increase in funding for early childhood education will increase the number of families eligible for Care 4 Kids and go directly to child care providers, enabling them to support the expansion of services in classrooms, such as through the hiring of more teachers and purchasing of necessary classroom equipment.

Combined, these will be some of the largest investments ever made for Connecticut’s K-12 schools and early childhood education providers.

“Money intended for education works best when it goes to the classroom,” Governor Lamont said. “I am proposing that we use critical state resources to ensure that our state’s children have access to the classroom support they need to succeed.  We can accomplish this by increasing ECS funding for our K-12 schools, working with schools to fully expend the $400 million in remaining ARP ESSER funds, and supporting an expansion of early childhood education services. The ability of our K-12 education system to succeed depends in great part on the success of our early childhood education system, and we have a desperate need to expand these services, including through the hiring of more teachers. There are thousands of families in our state who are unable to enroll their children in early childhood education because of a lack of resources. We have an opportunity this year to increase access to education for our youngest residents, and we should do it.”

“The governor’s proposed budget increases funding for classrooms, providing resources where it can make a real difference in improving student outcomes,” Jeffrey Beckham, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and Governor Lamont’s chief budget advisor, said. “The current budget disguises municipal aid as education funding, essentially sending aid budgeted for magnet and vo-ag students back to their home district as a tuition subsidy rather than adding resources for classroom learning. Our proposal increases ECS funding, fully funds charter schools and vo-ag schools at the statutory amount, and increases the per pupil grant for both magnet schools and open choice schools. It supports the continuation of free school breakfast statewide, subsidizes the student’s share of reduced-price meals, and permanently funds the nationally recognized LEAP program, addressing chronic absence. If the General Assembly is truly serious about ensuring that all Connecticut students will be successful, they will support the governor’s proposal.”

The following chart represents the increase in ECS funding Governor Lamont is proposing to send to K-12 school districts for fiscal year 2025, as well as the balance of federal ARP ESSER funding available to K-12 schools for the year:

By Alex

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