Schools face cut of 80% in state funds under Malloy’s plan

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

With a state budget still not adopted, Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced a new spending plan that would reduce state education aid by 80 percent in Plainville.

On Aug. 18, Malloy issued a new executive order that would eliminate state education aid to 85 school districts and reduce school aid to 54 communities, as reported by the Associated Press.

The spending plan also would give $1.46 billion to districts with the highest student needs and greatest reliance on state aid, and 30 of Connecticut’s lowest-performing districts would see no cuts in state funding, according to the AP.

A recent news report published by CT Mirror breaks down the impact of Malloy’s new spending plan town by town. The report shows that Plainville could lose $8 million this fiscal year.

Disappointed, Plainville Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maureen Brummett said that kind of cut in funding would be “absolutely devastating” for the district’s already “lean” $35,503,099 budget for this fiscal year, which began on July 1.

“We could not absorb that. I could not cut enough programs to make that $8 million shortfall,” said Brummett.

Reductions in state education aid are not a new challenge for Plainville Community Schools.

Last December, the district learned of a $96,499 reduction in the Education Cost Sharing grant funding. This mid-year reduction came after the district already had a $74,629 reduction in ECS funding.

The state also eliminated $100,000 from Plainville’s Open Choice grant last year.

“We knew about those cuts. We planned for those,” said Brummett.

As the district waits for state lawmakers to pass a budget, Brummett said communication continues with town and school officials as well as state legislators.

“We will sit around the table as a joint town and school board entity, and decide how to make this work,” said Brummett, who hopes to see a state budget adopted within the next few weeks.