The lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Education Association against Governor Malloy influenced the passage of the new state budget, and helped restore ECS funding to all of our schools. Prior to the lawsuit, proposed state budgets cut ECS funding by more than $100 million, and the governor’s executive order cut education funding by $557 million. That dynamic changed when the CEA filed a lawsuit and when CEA teachers from across the state contacted their legislators. The final bipartisan budget that recently became law restored almost all of ECS funding compared to 2017 funding, with towns receiving between 95% and 100% of their education funds.
“On October 31st, the governor signed the bipartisan budget into law, ending the draconian education cuts that jeopardized our students’ futures,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “With the new budget, millions in education funding will be restored to cities and towns across the state, and a new commission will help secure the equitable distribution of funds in the future.”
When the new budget and ECS funding became official, the lawsuit regarding the executive order became moot and was withdrawn. The CEA thanks the courageous leaders of the city of Torrington, the towns of Brooklyn, Stratford, and Plainfield, as well as the teachers, students, and parents in those municipalities who joined in the lawsuit on behalf of all 169 towns.
Under the executive order, all four municipalities in the lawsuit sustained major cuts. The new budget, however, restores 95 percent of education funding to the majority of cities and towns across the state, including the four municipalities named in the court action.
- Under the executive order, Torrington went from $24.5 million to $4 million, a $20.5 million cut. The new budget provides Torrington with $24.5 million.
- Brooklyn went from $7 million to $4 million, a $3 million cut. Under the new budget, Brooklyn receives $6.6 million.
- Plainfield went from $15.4 million to $9 million, a $6 million cut. The new budget restores Plainfield to $14.6 million.
- Stratford went from $21.5 million to zero, a $21.5 million cut. The new budget provides Stratford with $20.4 million.
The new budget also creates the Connecticut Achievement and Resource Equity in Schools Commission (CARES), which will provide expertise and recommendations regarding the distribution of state education funds to ensure that students in every community have the resources needed to succeed.
“We look forward to working with the CARES Commission members to develop a new ECS plan that provides a fair, reliable, sustainable, and equitable funding source for all students, regardless of where they live,” said Cohen. “Through the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) court case and this new commission, we are hopeful that a new funding plan will be in place next year that will ensure our local public schools have the critical resources needed to provide high-quality education to all our students.”
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.