Education Funding Cuts Hit Connecticut Towns
Connecticut’s education sector has taken a major blow this week. The state has slashed funding to education programs in Connecticut towns, causing them to look for other means to cover their budget shortfalls, which may include increasing taxes or cutting spending.
Connecticut has entered its fourth month without an official budget. The state is currently running through an executive order by Governor Dannel Malloy. State agencies have received just enough money to get by until the actual budget is passed.
Small towns in Connecticut are considering laying off employees and halting developmental activities following the state’s education funding cuts this week.
The town of Southington, for instance, is considering raising taxes as the state plans to cut as much as $20.0 million from its education fund. Likewise, West Hartford could lose up to $21.0 million in education funding, amounting to about seven percent of its total budget. The town of Litchfield stands to lose all of its education funding from the state this year ($1.5 million).
Even the big cities are not immune to the education funding cuts. Students in the state’s capital, Hartford, fear losing scholarship funding. Universities have received barely enough scholarship funds under the governor’s executive order to last them a semester. If the Republican-proposed budget is passed, there won’t be enough scholarship grants available to students in the next semester.
The budget impasse between the Republican-dominated legislature and the Democratic governor is beginning to weigh heavily on the state’s cities and towns, so much so that the state’s capital is feared to go bankrupt by November.
The Republicans are proposing to cut spending to fill the state’s budget deficit, while Malloy keeps vetoing their proposals because he favors increasing spending. The state is facing a $3.5 billion budget deficit for the coming two years, which has become a headache for state lawmakers.
If the state fails to pass a budget by the end of this month, there’s a likelihood that Hartford will end up defaulting on its general obligation debt. Meanwhile, small towns in Connecticut have warned that they will have to face a government shutdown if the budget faces further delays.
“Connecticut Towns Grapple With Big Funding Cuts Amid Budget Deadlock,” The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2017.
“Students Speak Out About Importance of State’s Scholarship Program,” Hartford Courant, October 3, 2017.