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Final Legislative and Budget Summary

The Connecticut General Assembly 2016 legislative session concluded on May 4, 2016, and the General
Assembly passed a final budget on May 13, 2016 during special session. The following is a summary of key
education legislation and the final budget.
Passed

Legislative Summary

Senate Bill 179, An Act Concerning Education Issues, which addresses a variety of education programs and services. The bill includes:
the establishment of a veterans education distinction program, a requirement for local boards to post Careline information in schools, the
establishment of a transportation pilot program for East Haven, and creation of a task force to review policies related to school climate,
bullying, school safety, and social-emotional learning.

Senate Bill 379, An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force, which revises the
requirements for the teacher candidate competency exam, facilitates interstate agreements for teacher certification, and eases restrictions
and removes additional barriers for teacher certification for out-of-state educators. It also continues the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task
Force, and establishes the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council within the State Department of Education to advise the
department on related issues.

Senate Bill 382, An Act Concerning Teacher Preparation Programs, which requires the State Department of Education and Office of
Higher Education to enter into an agreement with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to accredit and
establish standards for teacher preparation programs.

House Bill 5400, An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Certain Education Personnel Records, which ensures that local and regional
boards of education have information concerning whether an applicant has been found to have committed abuse or sexual misconduct
and that they share such findings with other boards who may employ that applicant.

House Bill 5469, An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy, which expands upon provisions pertaining to protecting the privacy of
student information, student records or student-generated content.

House Bill 5470, An Act Concerning a Pilot Program for Students in High School Interested in Pursuing a College Degree in
Education, which establishes a teacher pathways pilot program to encourage and recruit minority students to pursue a career in
education.

Did Not Pass

Senate Bill 380, An Act Concerning the Exclusion of Student Performance Results on The Mastery Examination From Teacher
Evaluations, which would have prohibited districts from including student achievement growth on state assessments in teacher and
school leader performance evaluations.

House Bill 5551, An Act Concerning the Commissioner's Network of Schools, which would have made revisions to the
Commissioners Network law, the states school turnaround program.

Mid-Term Adjustments Budget (Fiscal Year 2016-17)


The following summary reviews education priorities in the state budget for the fiscal year (FY) beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017.
Compared to the original FY17 appropriations, the final midterm state budget decreases the State Department of Education (SDE)s total
budget by $108.6 million and the Office of Early Childhood (OEC)s budget by $3.5 million. Decreases from the original FY17 appropriation
include the following:
Expanding Access to High-Quality Options
All public school models, from traditional schools to schools of choice, received significant funding decreases.

Education Cost Sharing (ECS) aid provides funding for traditional public schools and is approximately 70 percent of the SDE budget.
Total ECS funding decreased by $32.1 million, a 1.6 percent cut. Hamden was the only town that saw an increase in ECS funding. Cuts to
towns ranged from approximately $1,200 to $2.0 million, with wide variances in decreases, ranging from 0.3 percent to 90 percent. More
than 70 percent of the total dollar amount cut from ECS was for aid to towns with below-average low-income student enrollment.1 The 30
lowest-performing districts in the state (Alliance Districts) received cuts totaling more than $8 million.
Magnet school funding decreased by $11.9 million, a 3.7 percent cut. The magnet school line item represents 10.5 percent of the total
SDE agency budget, which is the highest total funding out of all school choice programs within the SDE budget.
Technical High School System funding decreased by $7.8 million, a 4.5 percent cut.

Open Choice Program funding, which enables students in Hartford the opportunity to attend schools in nearby suburban towns at no cost
to the students family, decreased by nearly $3 million, a 6.8 percent cut.
State Charter Schools funding decreased by a total of $1.9 million for charter grade and seat growth, a 1.7 percent cut. The budget
leaves charter schools flat-funded at $11,000 per student for the third year in a row. State charter school funding was also removed from
the Education Equalization Grant line item to create a new and separate line item.

School Turnarounds
The Commissioners Network, the program designed to turn around the states lowest-performing schools, was decreased by more than
$678,000. This is a 5.3 percent cut, partly due to a reallocation of funds from the Longitudinal Data System line item to provide funding for
Winchesters schools to join the Network for the 2016-2017 school year.

The Priority School District Grant provides additional funding to districts with the largest numbers or highest percentages of poor and
remedial students. This budget decreased funding by $2.5 million, a 5.6 percent cut.

In 2014-2015, the statewide enrollment for students who qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch was 37.7 percent as reported by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

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Supporting Great Teachers, Principals and Leaders

Talent Development funding, which supports implementation of the states teacher and principal evaluation program, decreased by $3.2
million, a 34.5 percent cut. The percentage cut from the Talent Development line item is the second highest out of the entire SDE budget
(only Regional Education Services is higher at 45.3 percent).

Raising Standards and Accountability

School Accountability funding is eliminated in this budget. The $1.4 million in funding originally appropriated for FY17 would have
assisted low-performing schools in implementing systems, polices, and best practices related to accountability to raise academic
achievement. School Accountability is one of only three programs with funding eliminated (the others are Public Transportation of School
Children at $26.8 million and Wrap Around Services at $25,000).

Development of Mastery Exams Grades 4, 6, and 8 supports the administration and scoring of statewide, standardized assessments
(e.g. Smarter Balanced Assessments). The reduction of $2.3 million, a nearly 15 percent decrease, represents one of the largest cuts to
education in SDEs budget in terms of dollars and percentage.
Common Core State Standards funding supports the implementation of the career and college readiness standards approved in 2010.
Adjustments reduced FY17 funding by $1.9 million (31 percent decrease) to a total budget of $4.1 million.

Starting Early
Early Care and Education is a new line item representing nearly 40 percent of the agencys general fund in the Office of Early Childhood
(OEC) budget. The account consolidates three existing line items: School Readiness, Child Care Services and Early Childhood Program,
with funding totaling $111.8 million for FY17. This is a decrease of $1.5 million, or 1.3 percent.

Birth to Three is a program that was transferred to the OEC from Department of Developmental Services in FY16 as Early Intervention. The
funding for FY17 was preserved at the original appropriation of $24.7 million, representing approximately 8 percent of the total agency
budget.
Head Start Services is a federal initiative that helps low-income families prepare their children for school. Beginning in FY17, the existing
Head Start - Early Childhood Link line item will be rolled into this account totaling $5.7 million in funding, representing 2 percent of OECs
budget. This is about $600,000 or 9.5 percent lower than original appropriation.
K-3 Reading Assessment Pilot supports schools implementing effective structures, systems, and best practices to close the K-3
achievement gap in reading. The funding for FY17, $2.6 million, is the lowest since the rollout of the program in Fall 2013.

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Mid-Term Adjustments Budget (Fiscal Year 2016-17)

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Mid-Term Adjustments Budget (Fiscal Year 2016-17)

Notes
This analysis provides a high-level overview of key budget line items and does not include all line items from the State Department of
Education or the Office of Early Childhood. Please visit OFAs website for the complete budget for these agencies.
Unless otherwise indicated, numerical values are calculated as increases or decreases compared to the original amount appropriated for
FY17 approved in June 2015.
The CT Technical High School System can be found in state budget documents as: Regional Vocational-Technical School System.
Funding for state charter schools can be found in the Charter Schools line item in the final midterm FY17 budget but was previously
included in the Education Equalization line item along with Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant dollars. Funding for charter schools in each
column in the table was calculated by subtracting ECS funding from the Education Equalization line item total in any instance where
charter school funding was not included as a separate line item.
The Education Cost Sharing (ECS) budget line included in the table of this analysis does not reflect any funding earmarked for ECS through
the Municipal Revenue Sharing Fund (MRSF). In the final budget, this amount is an additional $10.0 million.
The New or Replicated Schools line item is the main source of state funding for local charter schools.
Early Care and Education is a new line item that consolidates the following three line items: Early Childhood Program, School Readiness,
and Child Care Services. These three line items are the basis for comparison in each of the budget columns in the table despite possible
differences in structure in the various budget iterations in order to ensure a consistent comparison.
The Birth to Three line item was previously Early Intervention in historical budget documents.
The Head Start line item is a new line item that consolidates the following two line items: Head Start Services and Head Start - Early
Childhood Link into one larger program line. These two line items are the basis for comparison in each of the budget columns in the table
despite possible differences in structure in the various budget iterations in order to ensure a consistent comparison.
Sources
Current FY16: Conn. Office of Fiscal Analysis, OFA Expenditure Estimate Detail, Apr. 2016, available at: www.cga.ct.gov/ofa/.
General Assembly (CGA) Biennium Final June 3, 2015: Conn. Office of Fiscal Analysis, State Budget FY16 & FY17 Budget, available at:
www.cga.ct.gov/ofa/.
Governor Malloy Proposed Feb. 3, 2016: Conn. Office of Fiscal Analysis, OFA Budget Sheets FY 17, available at: www.cga.ct.gov/ofa/.
Appropriations Committee Proposed Apr. 6, 2016: Conn. Office of Fiscal Analysis, Appropriations Committee Budget FY 17 Midterm
Adjustments, available at: www.cga.ct.gov/ofa/.
Governor Malloy Revised Proposed Apr. 12, 2016: Conn. Office of Policy and Mgmt., Governors FY 2017 Revised Midterm Budget
Adjustments, available at: http://www.ct.gov/opm/.
Governor Malloy Revised Proposed May 2, 2016: Conn. Office of Policy and Mgmt., Governors FY 2017 Third Midterm Budget
Adjustment Proposal, available at: http://www.ct.gov/opm/.
General Assembly (CGA) Midterm Final May 13, 2016: Conn. Office of Fiscal Analysis, Budget Summary: Revised FY17 Budget,
available at: https://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa.
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