A new report by The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says the state remains the most reliant in the nation on the property tax to fund pre-K to 12 public education.
As part of its “Election Campaign 2014” series, CCM says a range of actions are needed by the state to correct a more than $600 million shortfall in the Education Cost Sharing Grant -- state aid to municipalities for education -- and to address skyrocketing special education costs.
“State law limits municipalities primarily to the property tax for own-source revenue,” said Matthew Galligan, CCM President and town manager of South Windsor. When municipalities do not receive adequate state education aid, they are forced to raise property taxes, cut other vital services or both.... Local property taxes cannot continue to shoulder the lion’s share of pre-K to 12 public education costs.”
This issue is at the center of a major education funding lawsuit which is set to go to trial early next year in Connecticut. A coalition of municipalities, boards of education, parents, and teachers known as The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding says the way the state funds public schools violates students’ constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.