To the chairmen of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee:
I am furious that your committee would even consider the education funding package that thankfully melted down last Tuesday. I am furious that the proposal perpetuates rather than corrects the gross inequities in ECS funding that have existed for at least the past four years.
I am furious that my town, Woodbury, which for the past four years has received less than 40 percent of its ECS formulaic entitlement would have received 41.5 percent and 41.8 percent of its entitlement in the next biennium according to the proposal. I am furious that Wilton, which for the past four years has received over 100 percent of its ECS entitlement would have received 132 percent and 126 percent of its entitlement.
I am furious that under the proposal towns like Wilton, Farmington (180 percent, 180 percent), Madison (158 percent, 145 percent), Stonington (140 percent, 116 percent), Lisbon (141 percent, 124 percent), and Guilford (126 percent, 115 percent), having had their snouts deep in the ECS trough for the past four years, would be allowed to continue to receive more than their due at the expense of towns like Woodbury, Southbury, (43.8 percent, 44.1 percent), Newtown (47.4 percent, 47.6 percent) and fourteen other towns that have for four years been receiving less than 50 percent of their due. No town should receive more than its formulaic entitlement at the expense of other towns.
I am furious that the proposal my fellow Democrats on the Appropriations Committee considered on Tuesday seems to have completely ignored the Woodbury proposal for redistributing ECS dollars equitably over the next biennium without costing an extra dollar.
I am only slightly less furious with the Republican ECS proposal that sets Woodbury at 35 percent and 43.5 percent for the first two years while maintaining Wilton (124 percent), North Canaan (112 percent), Old Lyme (108 percent), and Greenwich (108 percent) at well above their fair share.
I will be most furious if the ultimate negotiated biennial budget contains either the distorted amalgam of educational funding in the Governor’s proposed budget or the insipid, inadequate lip service paid to ECS equity in the proposals offered by the Appropriations Committee Democrats and their Republican counterparts.
Finally, I am furious with the failure of the executive and legislative branches to take serious and sufficient measures to rectify the inequities that have existed in ECS funding for at least four years because of their arbitrary and capricious decisions in distributing that funding.
William A. Monti is a member of the Woodbury Board of Finance.