Education funding from the state to municipalities has been updated by Governor Malloy as he continues to run government by executive order due to a lack of a legislatively approved budget. He is prioritizing allocations for Alliance Districts and students with the highest needs. 54 districts will see reduced funding, while the 85 that rely on state support the least for overall district funding will be zeroed out.
Malloy says municipal aid funding as part of the executive order reflects the nearly impossible decisions Connecticut is forced to make in the absence of a budget. He acknowledged that this will force some municipalities, large and small, to make difficult decisions.
The Chairman of the Bethel Board of Education wrote an open letter on Facebook to state lawmakers about his frustrations with the budget stalemate and proposed education funding cuts. Larry Craybas said that schools will open in less than two weeks in total confusion with larger class sizes at every grade level. He notes that DRG D Districts like Bethel and neighboring New Milford face monumental cuts.
Craybas added that the problem Governor Malloy has created in his Executive Order on August 2nd affects all districts, including the Alliance Districts he anticipates helping. Alliance Districts are the 30 lowest performing. If the cuts do go through, Bethel anticipates needing to lay off upwards of a quarter of teaching and support staffs. Craybas says the damage from cutting 119 people will last for generations of students. He believes Bethel could possibly become an Alliance District.
He called the executive order an indefensible manipulation of ECS funds that will dramatically damage what Bethel has been able to achieve over many years.
In addition to larger class sizes, Craybas cautioned that intervention support for children that need this additional help to learn, grow in achievement, and eventually become productive members of society will be seriously reduced or eliminated entirely.