On May 3rd, the Connecticut FY23 budget passed in the General Assembly.
The CTCSA is excited to share that this year’s budget includes funding increases for charters and meets many of the key demands our Association and coalition partners had set out to achieve.
We are grateful to our legislative supporters, who have worked tirelessly to move the needle toward equity for public charter schools and their students in the FY23 budget adjustment. Our budget wins include:
- Nearly $5 million in new funding for public charter schools, including:
- Funding for New Seats at Existing Charter Schools. This money will directly open up 132 new seats at the existing charter schools that had applied for seat and grade growth through SDE last year. We are excited for the many opportunities this will present to students at three high performing charter schools.
- Accelerated Timeline for Charter Schools to Receive Weighted Funding. This year’s budget included an accelerated timeline for charter schools to receive the previously approved increase to weighted funding. This adjustment ensures the phase in period for charters is at parity with district schools and will make available the increased weighted funding by 2028, three years sooner than previously adopted. This means schools will receive an increase in per pupil funding depending on their demographic populations.
- Internet Program for Public Charter Schools. Over a three year period, $911,195 will be invested in improving charter school internet connectivity.
- $75 Million Grant for Air Quality Improvements for Public Schools. State officials heard our calls and amended the bill to ensure charter schools will also have access to this pot of funding for key infrastructure repairs! In addition to the facilities bonding funds received by one school earlier this year, this is the first state facilities funding made available to public charter schools since 2018.
We are disappointed in the legislature’s failure to pass HB5283, which would have ensured all public school students regardless of zip code and public school type receive equitable, need-based funding. Despite this setback, we are proud of the support we’ve built for HB5283 over the past few years and grateful for the leadership of Rep. Jeff Currey, Rep. Antonio Felipe and every one of the 52 total cosponsors from both sides of the political spectrum. This broad coalition of legislative support advanced the bill out of both the Education and Appropriations Committees. CTCSA looks forward to working with our coalition of communities across the state, public schools of all types, and state officials to ensure we break down barriers for all students and make Connecticut a more just and equitable place for our children to grow up by seeing through the passage of this critical piece of legislation.
We are also disheartened that Danbury’s charter school has once again been excluded from the state budget. Year after year, Danbury families have advocated for the much needed school, which would provide more seats to an overcrowded district. Yet again, we have seen their local leaders choose politics over students and families.
We want to thank all of YOU – families, students, teachers, community members, and school leaders who have joined forces to advocate for students across Connecticut. While we have much work to do and know this fight will be long, we feel grateful for the legislative relationships we’ve built and the continued momentum we feel each year as we advocate for our students and families.