The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2007 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
Despite a roller-coaster economy and a brief special legislative session that capped lawmakers’ regular 2008 session, Connecticut’s K-12 budget for fiscal 2008-09 remained exactly as it had been fixed in last year’s legislative session.
That was bad news for the 15 urban districts that had been receiving $19.7 million from the decade-old Early Reading Success grants, which are earmarked for the state’s least-wealthy students.
The funding was removed from the budget by legislators hoping to improve the budget outlook. Lawmakers stayed away from education issues during the special session that ended June 12.
“Like all other states, we were affected by the national economy,” said Connecticut Department of Education spokesman Thomas Murphy. “We saw a projected surplus for this year of about $250 million, predicted in January, evaporate and turn into a projected deficit of as much as $50 [million] or $60 million.”
Overall, as part of the state’s two-year budget of $36 billion, the education budget grew at the 3.8 percent rate set by the legislature in the first year of the biennium, from $2.6 billion in fiscal 2007-08 to $2.7 billion in fiscal 2008-09.
A version of this article appeared in the July 16, 2008 edition of Education Week