OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sSB-929

AN ACT CONCERNING CLOSING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT GAP.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 12 $

FY 13 $

Education, Dept.

GF - Cost

less than 60,000

less than 60,000

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill makes various changes to local and regional school districts as well as the State Department of Education (SDE) that may result in a cost of less than $60,000 in FY 12 and FY 13 with a significant impact in the out years. No funding is provided in the budget for the provisions contained in the bill. A section by section analysis appears below:

Section 1 of the bill establishes a task force to study the academic achievement gap in Connecticut. Agencies would incur minimal costs, in both FY 12 and FY 13, estimated to be less than $5,000, associated with mileage reimbursement of 51 cents per mile for legislators and agency staff (who seek such reimbursement) participating on the task force.

Section 2 of the bill establishes an Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap. Agencies would incur minimal costs, in both FY 12 and FY 13, estimated to be less than $5,000, associated with mileage reimbursement of 51 cents per mile for legislators and agency staff (who seek such reimbursement) participating on the task force. Additionally, the newly created Interagency Council may require additional resources of up to $50,000 to assist them with implementing the provisions contained within the master plan, established by the task force.

Section 3 of the bill allows a local or regional school district that has been designated as a low achieving school to increase the number of school sessions during the school year. This change is permissive and does not require any district to include additional school sessions or school hours. If a school district opted to increase the number of school sessions or school hours, it would face additional costs, which would be relative to the number of additional sessions or hours. It is assumed that a local or regional district would not opt to extend the school year if they did not have the resources to do so.

Section 4 maintains the kindergarten entrance age through FY 14, which does not result in a fiscal impact. Additionally, Section 4 changes the kindergarten entrance age from five years old, by January 1, to five years old by October 1, for FY 15, and each FY thereafter. It is anticipated that this change would impact approximately 1,600 children. This change could result in a savings to various districts and an increased cost to SDE, starting in FY 15. Depending on the number of kindergarteners at each school, the potential savings to each local and regional school district will vary. It is anticipated that districts could accrue marginal savings of approximately $3,000 to $4,000 per child. Of the kindergarteners that would be delayed, approximately 600 are from districts where SDE pays for school readiness slots. The state would be responsible for continuing these students in school readiness slots, at a rate of $8,346 (full day, full year rate), or approximately $5 million in additional costs.

Section 5 makes various definitional changes that are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 6 establishes a pilot program to study the promotion of best practices in early literacy and closing the achievement gap. The creation of this pilot program is permissive, as the Commissioner of Education is not required to do it. It is assumed that SDE would not create the pilot if they did not have the staff or the resources to do so.

Sections 7 and 8 make various changes that are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

Beginning in FY 15, it is anticipated that districts could accrue marginal savings of approximately $3,000 to $4,000 per child. Of the kindergarteners that would be delayed, approximately 600 are from districts where SDE pays for school readiness slots. The state would be responsible for continuing these students in school readiness slots, at a rate of $8,346 (full day, full year rate), or approximately $5 million in additional costs.