Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Waiting is the Hardest Part..

Across Connecticut Chief Elected Officials in cities and towns are waiting to see the Governor's budget that will be rolled out on Feb. 6th.

Will there be cuts to municipal aid? How deep will the cuts go? Where and from what pools of state aid will the Governor recommend cutting?

The actions of the current administration in Hartford can be baffling. To try and guess what direction the administration is trying to move Connecticut is almost impossible.

For example, last year the administration and the legislature created the Alliance School Districts - these are school districts that are in need of  academic improvement. Danbury made that list and received an extra $1.7 million in state aid for education. Sounds great, but, in order to access the money you had to develop an improvement plan and create new programming. New programming! At a time when many school districts can't pay for the basic services - in some cases struggling to keep the lights on, the state decided to mandate new programming.

Danbury receives approximately $24 million in state aid in education money. A recent report by the administration's ECS Task Force said that Danbury is underfunded in state aid for education by $22 million. Did you get that? $22 million!

At the same time while we struggle to educate our children to level that they deserve, the Governor announces $1.5 billion in borrowed money for Uconn - nice, but, what's the point if our local school districts are short changed by millions billions of dollars? What child will be ready for college if their local school district does not have the necessary resources that are needed to prepare them for admission?

There are so many other questions..

Will the administration propose eliminating the car tax? If so, how will it supplant the income that goes to already stressed municipalities?

How will school security be funded?

With a projected $1.2 billion deficit next fiscal year, and a $1 billion deficit in 14'/15' what systemic changes to state government will be suggested to balance the budget?

Ahhh .... The waiting is the hardest part..

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