There are three legislative candidates in the Greater Danbury area who are not facing a challenge from a major party candidate. Among them is Danbury State Senator Mike McLachlan. The Republican recently took part in a forum sponsored by the Danbury PTO. He was asked about the Education Cost Sharing Formula and says one of the big challenges is that the City is scored in a less favorable fashion for more money.
He gave the example of New Britain being a smaller community than Danbury, but receives significantly more money than the City. He says that's because the demographics of New Britain supposedly demands more money. But McLachlan pointed out that the 25th most richest person in the United States lives in Danbury and his value in income is averaged in with everyone else's income.
McLachlan says that's not an equitable way to calculate funding.
New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith says Danbury and surrounding towns are not receiving the funding they should be. He says the smaller towns are left out because the theory in the ECS formula is that if the schools are performing well, they don't need more funding.
Smith says the formula has been changed every year since 1988. He calls is a complicated formula that doesn't serve anyone well. Smith says there are too many unfunded mandates, the formula is also a disincentive for districts to save money. He says they can't reduce their budget from the prior year unless they get permission from the state Education Commissioner.
Redding Representative John Shaban is also running unopposed.