State cuts Trumbull school aid

The state’s planned $266,000 education funding cut to Trumbull should not affect the schools, according to Superintendent Gary Cialfi.

“The state’s formula for determining Educational Cost Sharing funding is somewhat mysterious,” Cialfi said. “But the good news is, even after the reduction, we will still receive more than we did last year.”

In August the state calculated that Trumbull would receive $3.68 million in educational reimbursement for the 2017 fiscal year. On Dec. 29, the state Office of Policy and Management announced the ironically titled MORE (Municipal Opportunities and Regional Efficiencies) reductions, cutting Trumbull funding by $266,000, or about 7.2%. These cuts to the 169 towns in the state were based on a need-based formula by which the 48 “distressed” school districts had their payments cut by 2% or less, while the 25 richest communities received much larger reductions by percent. New Canaan (50%), Westport (48.8%) and Greenwich (90.5%) received some of the largest reductions by percentage, although these towns have historically relied on state funds much less than the poorer communities.

Secretary Benjamin Barnes, who sent the memo informing towns of the reductions, said reinstatement of the funds was possible if the state was running a surplus later this year, but said he would have a better idea of the state’s financial position in April.