Kupchick speaks out against cuts to Fairfield

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) testified in front of the legislature’s Education committee Monday, March 20 on proposed changes to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula.

The committee raised a bill on ECS language that would mitigate cuts the governor has proposed to 138 towns across Connecticut including Fairfield. The governor’s education cuts would devastate the Town of Fairfield.

The bill, HB-7270, An Act Concerning the Education Cost-Sharing Grant Formula for Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2018, and June 30, 2019 would establish an education cost-sharing grant formula for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2018, and June 30, 2019, and requires the Department of Education to issue a request for proposals for an adequacy study regarding public education funding.

Rep. Kupchick, who has spent most of her elected life supporting and advocating for public education and children, testified that under the governor’s education plan, Fairfield would be forced to either sharply raise local property taxes or make cuts to their local education budgets or a combination of both.

“Our town’s local officials are now being put in a precarious position of dealing with the fallout of this education plan. Fairfield ranks among the top “biggest losers” in terms of how much education and municipal aid would be cut compared to their overall town budgets,” said Rep. Kupchick. “This sudden change to the ECS formula proposed by the Governor is patently unfair and will force towns like Fairfield to make massive cuts to education, town services and increase taxes.  Those actions will deeply hurt every child in Fairfield and many residents who are struggling to make ends meet now.”

“Fairfield has always worked hard to manage its budgets prudently so we could provide high level educational opportunities for all Fairfield children and quality services for residents that are affordable for our economically diverse community,” said Rep. Kupchick. “The governor has seemed to punish towns that are well-run, deliver balanced budgets, spend conservatively, and earn the highest credit ratings. Unfortunately for families in Fairfield and many other towns, that means us.”

Kupchick testified that “Fairfield includes residents below and at the poverty line, those in the middle class, many seniors on fixed incomes and residents on the higher end of the income scale.  Simply put, no town should be zeroed out. I also want to note that the formula for special education funding shouldn’t be based solely on a town’s ability to pay, but rather a formula that gives weight to each towns actual spending on special education.

Kupchick added, “The legislature has been looking at changes to the ECS formula for many years.  I’m asking the committee work to make the formula easy to calculate, understand and not be based on the state’s financial crisis.”

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

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