Spitball: An endowment for the public schools

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy continues to provide low-interest loans to major corporations in the hope to keep them based in a state that’s struggling with high costs. It’s part of an overall strategy to stabilize and grow jobs, and it relies on the ability of the state to provide low-interest loans to businesses based on Connecticut’s ability to issue general obligation bonds.

My idea is, and I’m just spitballing here, if the state can issue bonds in order to fund grants and loans to businesses, why the heck can’t it issue bonds to start an endowment for our public schools going forward? I’m sure some really smart people can tell me why this idea sucks, but I don’t see why it can’t work. After all, UConn is a public entity and it has an endowment. Why can’t the state create a giant endowment fund for all the public schools, kicking it off with a bond issuance followed by the normal fund raising for schools. In time, it could grow to be a sizeable force for funding the schools. And, if you can find some smart finance guys to run it, it might actually, in time take some of burden off the property tax, which makes it easier for workers to own homes and reduces business costs as well.

Certainly, Malloy has shown a willingness to open the bank of Connecticut in the name of creating a business-friendly environment.

On Thursday, Malloy announced a deal in Danbury to provide Cartus $6.5 million to help the company expand.

Earlier this week, Moody’s Investors Service  assigned a rating of Aa3 with a stable outlook to the $22 million State of Connecticut General Fund Obligation Bonds, 2014 Series A, issued by Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated. CI is the successor authority to the Connecticut Development Authority. CI expects to offer the bonds through negotiated sale the week of May 5th. Bond proceeds will be used to provide a grant to Bridgeport Landing Development Corporation, LLC (BLD) to finance a portion of an approximately 140,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops destination retail facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Don’t forget his love for BLT here in Stamford.

So if the state can do it for business, why can’t it do it for public schools?


Rob Varnon