Budget deal to yield $3.2 million bump for Stratford schools

Update: Michael Downes, chief of staff for Mayor Laura Hoydick, said the town is only receiving about $5,000 more that in Education Cost Sharing dollars than was included in the state budget that passed last October. Downes said the town included some $21.8 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget and will receive about $21.9 million in the Legislature’s proposed budget deal.

“While we are thankful that the General Assembly did not reduce our allocation as Governor Malloy did earlier this year, Stratford is actually realizing about $7,000 more overall than we budgeted for, not $3 million. I believe Reps. [Joe] Gresko and [Phil] Young are saying they got $3 million more that the governor proposed, but not $3 million more than we were already budgeted to have,” Downes said.

 

Original story: Stratford Public Schools will receive a $3.2 million increase in state funding in the state’s new budget, according to the town’s Democratic state representatives.

The General Assembly approved a state budget on Wednesday, which is set to increase Stratford’s state education cost sharing funding from $18.56 million to $21.88 million.

The agreement “took compromise on all sides,” said State Rep. Joe Gresko, D-121. “We increased funding to Stratford, restored MSP [the Medicare Savings Program] and socked away funds in the Rainy Day Fund – this is a good budget for Connecticut and Stratford.”

State Rep. Phil Young, D-120, said Stratford would have seen funding cuts in July without a budget compromise.

“Increasing education funding was a top priority,” Young said. “Without a state budget fix, Stratford would have seen its funding cut in July. Instead we are looking at and increase of more than $3 million for our schools.”

Expected losses in state funding have dogged the Stratford Board of Education. The board is expected to weigh a change in its busing plans to help make up a $2.2 million gap in its $ 111.8 million outlay from the town’s 2018-19 budget. The plan would reduce busing and have more children attending their neighborhood schools. It would also have Stratford Academy, currently a magnet school, revert to a neighborhood school. 

Stratford Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Philips said the budget proposal will yield Stratford “more time to look at better solutions” than laying of teachers and demagnetizing Stratford Academy.

Gov. Dannel Malloy must still sign off on the budget.

Stay with The Stratford Star for more information on this story.

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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