Education funding wouldn’t suffer under Malloy’s budget plan

HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy pledged to increase spending on education despite the state’s continued fiscal woes. At a news conference held a day before his budget address, Malloy said he is proposing spending an additional $50.7 million in school aide during 2014 and $101.5 million more in 2015. The beneficiaries would be 117 of the state’s 169 cities and towns. The others would see no loss in state education aid.

The bulk of the new money would go to the 30 districts that are most underperforming, a title that extends to all of the state’s major cities. About 41 percent of all students in the state go to school in those 30 so-called “alliance” districts.

Starting last year, the state Department of Education had a say in how new state education funding to alliance districts is spent.

Under the governor’s proposal, which must still go through the legislative approval process, funding for Bridgeport would go from $168.5 million to $172.8 million next year and to $177.1 million in 2014-15 school year, a five percent jump over the biennium. Danbury would see a 30 percent boost to $32 million and Stamford a 27 percent boost to $11.3 million over the two years. Meanwhile, Ansonia would see a 7 percent funding boost over two years, Fairfield and Greenwich would see a zero percent increase,

The governor also announced Tuesday a new collaboration with the state’s two teachers unions. The partnership with the Connecticut Education Association and American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut would spend $2 to $3 million available to help districts attract and retain top teachers.

Linda Lambeck