Topic:
MUNICIPAL FINANCE; STATISTICAL INFORMATION; LEGISLATION; SCHOOL FINANCE; GRANTS;
Location:
EDUCATION - FINANCE;

OLR Research Report


March 7, 2006

 

2006-R-0218

EDUCATION COST SHARING GRANT CAP AND FLOOR

By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked (1) for a history of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant cap, (2) how many years the ECS floor of 60% of a town's grant entitlement has been in place, and (3) how many towns received grants below 60% of their entitlement while the floor was in effect.

SUMMARY

The ECS formula was enacted in 1988 to take effect on July 1, 1989. It was to be phased in over four years and be fully implemented in FY 94. In 1995, the General Assembly completely revamped the formula, merging a formerly separate special education grant with ECS. ECS grants for 1995 and after are thus not comparable to those for previous years.

The ECS cap was first enacted in 1992. The cap limits towns' annual increases in ECS aid regardless of their grant entitlements under the ECS formula. For several years, the cap had its own formula tied to town wealth. But for the past three years, the legislature has capped the growth of the ECS grant by establishing a set increase for all towns based on the amount received in a previous year.

The 60% ECS “floor” was enacted in 2004 and applied only for FY 05. No town received less than 60% of its entitlement in that year.

HISTORY OF THE ECS CAP

The first ECS grant cap was enacted in 1992. PA 92-262 capped annual increases in towns' ECS aid at 4.35% regardless of their entitlement under the formula. In 1995, as part of creating an entirely new ECS formula, PA 95-226 also created a wealth-based cap formula of 2% times the ratio of each town's wealth to the wealth of the 153rd wealthiest town. No town's grant could increase by more than 2% above its previous year's grant.

The 2% cap formula continued through 1998. In 1998, PA 98-168 raised the cap percentage to 5%, allowing town grants to rise somewhat faster. In 1999, PA 99-217 increased the maximum cap increase to 6% in FYs 00 through 03. PA 99-217 also eliminated the cap entirely starting in FY 04.

The General Assembly also provided special grants to capped towns. PA 01-1, June Special Session, gave each capped town a proportional share of $25 million for FY 02 and $50 million in FY 03. Each town's share was based on the difference between its capped grant and its “target aid” (what its grant, excluding any density supplements, would be without the cap).

In 2003, the General Assembly postponed the elimination of the 6% cap, previously scheduled for July 1, 2004, until July 1, 2005 (PA 03-6, June Special Session). It also distributed a $53 million “cap supplement” for FY 04 to capped towns.

In 2004, the General Assembly eliminated the 6% cap formula as of the originally scheduled date of July 1, 2004. It began instead basing annual grants on percentage increases in prior year's grants, in effect establishing a new kind of cap. PA 04-252 gave each town an ECS grant equal to its FY 04 grant plus 23.27% of the difference between its FY 04 grant and its full entitlement, subject to certain constraints.

PA 05-245 established grants for FYs 06 and 07. In each year, it required each town to receive a grant equal to its FY 05 grant plus 2% plus an amount specified in the act (see Table 1 attached).

60% ECS “FLOOR”

As noted above, PA 04-252 gave each town an ECS grant for FY 05 equal to its FY 04 grant plus 23.27% of the difference between its FY 04 grant and its full ECS entitlement. The grants were subject to several additional constraints. Among them was a requirement that every town receive at least 60% of its full entitlement. This ECS grant “floor” applied only in FY 05 and affected only one town: Bloomfield. No town received less than 60% of its full entitlement while the floor was in effect.

TABLE 1: ADDITIONAL ECS GRANT AMOUNTS UNDER 33 OF PA 05-245

(Note: Amounts below are added to the 2% across-the-board increase over FY 05 grants required under 32 of the act.)

TOWN

FY 06

FY 07

Andover

$74,122

$94,876

Ansonia

302,688

387,441

Ashford

51,389

65,777

Avon

7,634

9,772

Barkhamsted

28,385

36,333

Beacon Falls

81,484

104,300

Berlin

167,604

214,533

Bethany

15,356

19,656

Bethel

71,381

91,367

Bethlehem

11,710

14,989

Bloomfield

289,773

370,909

Bolton

24,814

31,762

Bozrah

10,272

13,148

Branford

13,206

16,903

Bridgeport

1,424,356

1,823,175

Bridgewater

1,032

1,321

Bristol

800,219

1,024,280

Brookfield

11,643

14,903

Brooklyn

58,234

74,539

Burlington

33,489

42,866

Canaan

1,840

2,355

Canterbury

42,051

53,825

Canton

52,972

67,804

Chaplin

16,392

20,982

Cheshire

73,486

94,062

Chester

5,908

7,562

Clinton

57,437

73,520

Colchester

137,018

175,384

Colebrook

4,022

5,149

Columbia

28,808

36,874

Cornwall

590

755

Coventry

74,735

95,661

Cromwell

34,594

44,280

Danbury

767,877

982,883

Darien

9,986

12,782

Deep River

14,990

19,187

Derby

58,772

75,229

Durham

32,987

42,223

East Granby

21,814

27,922

East Haddam

35,482

45,417

East Hampton

178,267

228,182

East Hartford

1,075,785

1,377,005

East Haven

162,625

208,160

East Lyme

63,078

80,740

East Windsor

123,858

158,539

Eastford

9,294

11,896

Easton

3,866

4,949

Ellington

77,686

99,438

Enfield

510,927

653,987

Essex

2,664

3,410

Fairfield

23,359

29,900

Farmington

10,575

13,536

Franklin

7,841

10,036

Glastonbury

61,039

78,130

Goshen

1,591

2,037

Granby

100,288

128,369

Greenwich

22,243

28,471

Griswold

92,084

117,868

Groton

225,418

288,535

Guilford

27,174

34,783

Haddam

38,925

49,824

Hamden

539,634

690,732

Hampton

11,882

15,209

Hartford

1,647,106

2,108,295

Hartland

11,869

15,192

Harwinton

23,116

29,589

Hebron

96,460

123,469

Kent

1,214

1,553

Killingly

132,363

169,425

Killingworth

19,788

25,328

Lebanon

45,025

57,632

Ledyard

102,091

130,676

Lisbon

33,528

42,916

Litchfield

11,100

14,208

Lyme

1,019

1,304

Madison

10,743

13,751

Manchester

285,672

365,660

Mansfield

85,248

109,118

Marlborough

26,542

33,974

Meriden

851,381

1,089,768

Middlebury

4,191

5,364

Middlefield

30,432

38,954

Middletown

423,247

541,756

Milford

95,307

121,992

Monroe

55,033

70,442

Montville

104,322

133,532

Morris

5,845

7,482

Naugatuck

250,759

320,972

New Britain

1,761,935

2,255,277

New Canaan

9,435

12,077

New Fairfield

38,903

49,796

New Hartford

26,246

33,595

New Haven

1,244,104

1,592,453

New London

200,114

256,146

New Milford

104,003

133,124

Newington

246,589

315,633

Newtown

38,031

48,679

Norfolk

3,388

4,337

North Branford

73,734

94,379

North Canaan

17,694

22,649

North Haven

28,589

36,593

North Stonington

25,695

32,889

Norwalk

84,356

107,976

Norwich

375,773

480,990

Old Lyme

4,327

5,539

Old Saybrook

4,502

5,763

Orange

7,227

9,251

Oxford

37,537

48,047

Plainfield

130,790

167,411

Plainville

95,564

122,322

Plymouth

81,654

104,517

Pomfret

25,598

32,765

Portland

65,024

83,231

Preston

25,277

32,354

Prospect

59,364

75,985

Putnam

70,790

90,611

Redding

4,517

5,782

Ridgefield

13,379

17,125

Rocky Hill

21,741

27,829

Roxbury

1,146

1,467

Salem

26,815

34,323

Salisbury

1,294

1,657

Scotland

12,437

15,919

Seymour

81,775

104,672

Sharon

1,022

1,308

Shelton

44,203

56,580

Sherman

1,569

2,008

Simsbury

153,342

196,277

Somers

98,721

126,363

South Windsor

279,994

358,392

Southbury

14,935

19,117

Southington

330,997

423,676

Sprague

22,893

29,303

Stafford

83,464

106,834

Stamford

56,988

72,945

Sterling

26,009

33,292

Stonington

18,311

23,438

Stratford

549,578

703,460

Suffield

178,863

228,945

Thomaston

46,253

59,204

Thompson

64,927

83,107

Tolland

133,177

170,466

Torrington

305,273

390,750

Trumbull

21,887

28,015

Union

1,960

2,508

Vernon

149,547

191,420

Voluntown

22,530

28,838

Wallingford

180,291

230,772

Warren

727

930

Washington

1,754

2,245

Waterbury

2,260,800

2,893,824

Waterford

7,738

9,905

Watertown

97,873

125,278

West Hartford

450,365

576,467

West Haven

353,156

452,039

Westbrook

3,019

3,864

Weston

6,015

7,699

Westport

12,367

15,830

Wethersfield

334,433

428,074

Willington

31,527

40,354

Wilton

9,728

12,451

Winchester

66,467

85,077

Windham

205,641

263,221

Windsor

142,900

182,913

Windsor Locks

252,548

323,262

Wolcott

293,139

375,217

Woodbridge

5,014

6,417

Woodbury

6,779

8,677

Woodstock

78,815

100,884

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