Danbury officials are gathering together to call on the state to fulfill their financial obligation to the schools. The Danbury Board of Education, City Council, state lawmakers and others will be holding a public information session next Monday, October 5th, about the district being underfunded by some $30 million.
Information provided by the schools says that funding to districts is being given out in lump sums now with the state having suspended the Education Cost Sharing Formula in 2013. School officials say the grants are calculated in a way that higher mill rate towns get more money, and districts with lower costs for special need students or English Language Learners also receiving more funding.
School officials say new funding proposed under the ECS formula, to be reinstated in 2016, cuts what Danbury is entitled to by 50 percent, or $30 million.
The state is being called on by Danbury officials to come up with a more fail-safe funding method for school districts based on students' learning needs. They plan to discuss the possible request for a one-time Education Cost Sharing grant from the state to alleviate inequitable funding.
The School District says Danbury has the 7th lowest per student spending in Connecticut at $12,684, relying heavily on local funding. Danbury contributes $9,061 per student, or 70 percent. The schools say that's nearly twice that of a similar district. Superintendent of Schools Dr Sal Pascarella says the taxpayers need relief, and the state needs to help make sure every child is reaching his or her fullest potential.
Monday's info session is being held at Broadview Middle School from 6:30 to 8:30pm.