The ABC’s of the Trumbull Education Budget: A Citizen’s Guide
Updated January 10, 2016
The Trumbull PTSA Council encourages all taxpayers to be active and educated participants in the budget process. This guide serves as a reference Trumbull residents can use to contribute to a constructive dialogue at each stage of the process.
The Trumbull Public Schools’ budget accounts for roughly 60% of the overall budget for the Town. Three main sources exist to provide funding for the education budget:
- Local property taxes – the main source of revenue used to fund Trumbull Public Schools.
- State Funding – money received by the town based on an Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grant from the State of CT. This is determined by a complex formula and is not guaranteed, only approved annually through a vote by the State Legislature. This number has decreased steadily over recent years.
- Federal Funding – a small percentage of funding for the Trumbull Public Schools comes from federal money allocated by the U.S. Congress each fiscal year.
The budget process is complicated, can be confusing, and spans almost six months. It is understandable that many have chosen not to be active participants. More than 90% of the total education budget is funded by local property taxes. Given the difficult economic environment faced by Trumbull and the state of Connecticut, we can no longer afford the luxury of apathy.
This guide provides answers to some of the most common questions about the budget and process, including:
- What is included in the Board of Education operating budget and how is it created?
- What is the “CORE BUDGET” and why does it cost more each year?
- What is a “FUNDING CLIFF” and how will the Board of Education address the almost $875,000 that is currently funded by unspent money carried over from the 2011-2012 fiscal year?
- What are “UNFUNDED MANDATES” and how do they impact the budget?
- What items or programs have already been reduced or eliminated in the past few years?