The Appropriations Committee of Connecticut’s General Assembly has determined it will not put forth a new budget proposal during the 2024 legislative session, electing to leave last year’s approved budget unchanged heading into final budget negotiations with Gov. Ned Lamont.

Maintaining the originally negotiated spending package is a step toward safeguarding last year’s $150 million investment in public K-12 education, after Gov. Lamont proposed rolling back some of the funding increase earlier this session. The original version of the budget also expands weighted funding from the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grant to students attending public schools of choice, including public charter schools. Under that spending plan, public charter schools would see:

  • Weighted funding continue to be phased in through fiscal year 2025 at 56.7%;
  • But no schedule in statute for charter schools to receive full weighted funding;
  • Provision to address underfunding of many public school models

To address the lack of schedule for full funding of charter schools, and to make other needed changes in the budget, the Appropriations Committee also passed an education reform bill, H.B. 5212. This legislation adds policy language to existing funding and would bring public charter schools into alignment with other public schools in ECS.

H.B. 5212 will now go to a vote in the legislature in hopes of being included in the final budget. This policy would further deliver on the promises made to the nearly 11,000 public charter school students across the state and bring each student closer to being funded based on their need.

  • TAKE ACTION: Urge legislators to support H.B. 5212 today by clicking here.

Without a new budget proposal from the Appropriations Committee, the spending plan currently omits the funding needed to open two approved public charter schools, Danbury Charter School and Capital Prep Middletown.

Despite families, students, and advocates making several trips to the State Capitol and voicing their support for new public school options in their communities, these schools are at risk of waiting another year without funding. Hundreds of families need legislators to take action before the end of session to ensure these schools get the funding they deserve.

  • TAKE ACTION: Call on legislators to fund these two schools by clicking here.

An additional challenge facing our sector in light of the decision to use last year’s budget is the limited opportunity to fund seat expansion at several public charter schools. These schools are hoping to bring their high-quality, tuition-free education to more students in response to high demand in their communities. Failing to allocate funds for these new seats would mean fewer families being able to decide on the public school option that best fits their student’s needs.

If new public charter schools are not given funding to open, and schools hoping to expand are denied funding for new seats, public charter schools risk missing out on the $24.5 million available to them in Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant funding that is being administered by CTCSA and awarded to eligible applicants through the Great Schools for Connecticut Project.

The legislative session will end on May 8. CTCSA will continue to monitor the latest developments and share updates with our members. We appreciate all of the advocates whose work ensured a more fair funding policy will be considered in the final budget. Feel free to contact our staff with any questions about the budget and its implications for public charter schools.