K-12 Education has declined substantially as a share of the General Fund since the early 1990s, from about one fifth to one seventh in the most recent budget. This decline is seen most clearly in Educational Equalization Grants, the state's main contribution to local school districts. State support for K-12 education in Connecticut is among the lowest of any state in the union. In Connecticut, we leave the large majority of education expenses up to towns, which have no major revenue source except the property tax, thus contributing to the state's high and inequitable property taxes.
What the Data Mean
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In FY 1996, Special Education was eliminated as a distinct line item and all special education funding was bundled into Education Equalization Grants.
Starting in FY 1998, the state began funding Charter Schools as a distinct item in the budget. In FY 2013, Charter Schools was eliminated as a distinct line item and all charter school funding was bundled into Education Equalization Grants.
Prior to FY 1999, magnet school spending did not have a distinct line item, but rather was bundled into Interdistrict Cooperation. In FY 1999, Magnet Schools was separated from Interdistrict Cooperation.
In FY 2010, there was no Teachers' Standards Implementation Program line item funding because federal funds were used to fund the program instead.
Prior to FY 2011, the Regional Vocational-Technical School System did not have a distinct line item in the budget, and the vast majority of its funding was bundled into Personal Services and Other Expenses. From FY 2011 and on, the spending in Personal Services and Other Expenses on vo-tech was moved into its own item in the budget.
In FY 2011, about $20 million in funding was transferred from Transportation of School Children item to Excess Cost - Student Based.