The Tab: How Connecticut Can Fix its Dysfunctional Education Spending System to Reward Success, Incentivize Choice and Boost Student Achievement
Bryan C. Hassel and Daniela Doyle, Public Impact
Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
Connecticut’s current school funding system is inequitable, inefficient, and ineffective. So says the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN). The Nutmeg state’s murky and misguided budget channels fail to produce student gains. Though its per-pupil spending levels rank among the highest in the land, it is home to one of the widest socioeconomic achievement gaps. In this report, ConnCAN explains specific problems with Connecticut’s education funding structure, analyzes why these issues are so troublesome, and then proposes a three-part solution: portable and variable student-based funding; an accessible and intelligible database to increase fiscal transparency; and dramatically increased budgetary flexibility for districts and schools. Tying dollars to students, and varying the amounts to align with student needs, as Fordham has previously noted, would yield multiple benefits, such as incentivizing schools to keep students, particularly those who are more challenging to educate. ConnCAN asserts, we think plausibly, that these three steps will enable the state to respond to demographic shifts, educate disadvantaged students, incentivize great school operators to serve high-needs locales, and allocate funds more fairly. You can find the report here.
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