kitchen table math, the sequel: Connecticut May Make Changes to MBR

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Connecticut May Make Changes to MBR

One of the more bizarre aspects of funding schools in Connecticut is the "Minimum Budget Requirement" -- a law that requires towns to budget AT LEAST as much for the schools as they did the year before, no exceptions. The penalty? For every $1 drop in spending, the State takes away $2 in town grants.

This year, a very small change to the MBR is being considered at the State legislature. It isn't enough, but it is a start.

Throwing Curves has a new blog post up on the changes to Connecticut's Minimum Budget Requirement - Small Changes to Town Education Budgets May Be Possible.


Catherine Johnson said...

MBR - what a nightmare

Meanwhile New York is crushed by the Triborough Amendment.

Just learned the other night that our teachers and administrators have been receiving annual 7% increases in compensation.

Catherine Johnson said...

Triborough Amendment means that even though the union contract has expired, we have to continue to pay all raises except for the "grid" increases.

$400,000 budgeted for raises next year alone

equivalent to 1% tax increase

and of course healthcare costs are going up-up-up and pensions, too --

our property taxes are now higher than our mortgage

LynnG said...

You don't have a new union contract in place? Wow!

I've been thinking a lot about the MBR in Connecticut. With enrollment declining, some towns could potentially close some schools entirely -- but the MBR would require us to budget the same amount, regardless of the savings we realized. You could save hundreds of thousands of dollars closing one school, but still have to budget the money anyway. It makes no sense at all.

Catherine Johnson said...

Not only do we not have a contract in place, I don't see how we're **going** to have a contract in place.

Previous boards gave away the store -- with teachers & administrators receiving annual 7% raises on average along with 100% health care for employee and spouse for life.

Our superintendent, for instance, gained lifetime health care for herself and her husband as a result of just one 5-year contract.

Lifetime health care meaning: she doesn't have to go on Medicare. She is 100% covered for everything including medication.

Retired teachers have the same coverage.

Under the Triborough Amendment, there's no reason for the union to sign a new contract less rich than the previous contract.

The only negative for teachers to working without a contract is that they are not receiving the "grid increases" they normally do.

"Grid increases" are the across-the-board increases in the base on which step and lane and longevity increases are figured.

Given that we need to scale back retiree benefits, the union's best position is simply to carry on working without a contract.