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)
November 2009

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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