State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), the Norwalk delegation’s representative on the Education Committee, made the following statement today after the announcement of an agreement restoring part of Norwalk’s current education funding allocation that would have been removed by proposed legislation now before the General Assembly.
“I congratulate Rep. Lawrence Cafero and Sen. Robert Duff on the agreement with the administration that they announced today. A provision in SB 24, the governor’s education reform bill, would have reduced Norwalk’s current annual state education funding allocation by $650,000. Thanks to their work and the cooperation of the administration, Norwalk’s current allocation will not be reduced. But we have much more work to do to give Norwalk a fair shake in education funding.
“Relative to other cities that are similar in terms of need and ability to pay for education, Norwalk still does not receive an equitable share of Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding, and frankly, it never has. This is due primarily to the disparity between the City’s property values, which reflect its location in Fairfield County, and its other characteristics – including median household income, number of students receiving free and reduced lunch, number of students who don’t speak English at home – which resemble those of mid-sized cities elsewhere in the state.
“The current ECS allocation formula does not take this disparity, which also affects several other municipalities, into account. As a next step, I will be introducing a proposal to the Education Committee that would remedy this deficiency in the formula and substantially increase Norwalk’s allocation in a way that is logical and fair. As Norwalk’s voice on the Education Committee, I will continue to fight for equitable ECS funding for Norwalk.”