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State Senator

Norm Needleman

Representing Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Senator Needleman Lauds Democratic Budget’s Full Funding Of Education Cost Sharing Formula For Colchester

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) today lauded the Democratic state budget approved by the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees earlier this month, citing specifically its full funding of the Education Cost Sharing formula. This ensures retention of current support given to education systems across the state, preserving current quality of education in communities like Colchester.

The budget’s full allocation to the Education Cost Sharing ten-year funding formula preserves current education quality throughout the state. That funding is required under the ten-year phase-in adopted by the General Assembly in 2017. In addition, the budget invests further in magnet and charter schools, after school programs and maintains funding for nurses at private schools.

"The Appropriations Committee putting forward a budget proposal that maintains the current Education Cost Sharing formula phase-in of ten years provides communities like Colchester, which are seeing a significant decrease in the grant, time to prepare,” said Colchester Board of Education Chairman Bradley Bernier. “While Colchester is actively pursuing additional opportunities to share services with our neighbors, something we have been doing within our Town for years, we have found that the process takes time. The commitment by Appropriations to follow the current formula will allow us to maintain the efficiencies that we have in place as we look to expand our opportunities for alternative revenue."

“Our children can’t reach their full potential without us providing them with the optimal learning environment, and this budget does just that,” said Sen. Needleman. “Our students in Colchester, the 33rd District and the state cannot succeed without as much support as we can give them. I am heartened to see the Education Cost Sharing formula is fully funded in this budget and that my colleagues are working to change the Governor’s initial proposals.”

While the Democratic budget passed the Appropriations Committee and Finance Committee by last week’s mandated committee deadline, state Republicans failed to propose, submit, or vote on a state budget. With no budget, state Republicans have proposed $0 for state education funding for the 33rd District.

The Democratic budget now awaits a vote by the full State Senate and full House of Representatives.

Other Highlights of the Democratic State Budget

Investing in Workforce Development

  • Provides greater funding than the Governor proposed for several workforce development programs including:
  • Jobs Funnel Programs ($632K each year)
  • Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative ($1.1 M each year)
  • Healthcare Apprenticeship Initiative ($500K each year)
  • Connecticut’s Youth Employment Program ($1 M each year)
  • Cradle to Career ($100K each year)
  • Pilot Re-Entry Program ($800K each year)
  • Veteran Machinists Training ($250K each year)

Advancing Education

  • Increases funding for K-12 education by tens of millions of dollars from FY 19 ($42 million in FY 20 & $80 million in FY 21)
  • Increases funding for community colleges from FY 19 ($8 million in FY 20 & $10 million in FY 21)

Other Investments

  • Funds services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities including employment and day services for new high school graduates ($6.3 M in FY 20 and $14.6 M in FY 21) as well as individuals aging out of the Department of Children and Families and residential schools ($3 M in FY 20 and $5.7 M in FY 21)
  • Preserves funding for mental health and substance abuse grants ($1.6 M in each year)
  • Provides funding for caseload growth in the Birth to Three program ($1.4 M in FY 20 and $2 M in FY 21)
  • Includes funding for a new State Trooper Class in FY 20

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