A stab in the dark on ECS

It gives me little comfort to find the already-trimmed town budget is counting on our share of state education aid to rise sharply, which may or may not happen.

Here is the key section from a decent overview story in today’s Hartford Courant:

“In West Hartford’s original budget proposal, officials allocated a conservative $11.4 million for ECS revenue, or the same amount it expects to receive during the current year, said Chris Johnson, West Hartford’s finance director. But in the $203 million budget for 2007-08 the town council adopted April 24, ECS revenue was projected to be $15.5 million, or the amount allocated in the education committee’s proposal.

“‘There’s a certain amount of risk and uncertainty that exists with it, but it’s the best number we had at the time,’ Johnson said, explaining the reasoning behind using the education committee’s figure. ‘You have to make the most reasonable estimate.'”

In general, I’d prefer a more conservative approach.

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2 Comments

Filed under budget, Chris Johnson, ECS, education, General Assembly, Schools, West Hartford

2 responses to “A stab in the dark on ECS

  1. Mike

    Wow – The “best” number is the education committee number, which, like the BOE budget, is just a piece that needs to be included in the larger budget picture? I bet historically, the ed committee number has NEVER been simply adopted without changes. Their job is to put the best numbers out there for all the towns. Then, when a budget deal gets crafted, the money is shifted around in order to get the votes to pass. West Hartford, even with the house education committee chairman coming from the ranks of our legislators, have never gotten their full, fair share of ECS money. So suddenly we are expecting them to get it all? Expect some more cuts people….

  2. I find it interesting. I wonder how many people out there budget their household spending on the anticipated “bonus” they will get from their job… and what do you then do when that bonus doesn’t materialize?
    After being shortchanged by the State for tens of millions of dollars in the past ten years, can we be a bit more prudent in our estimates so that for once we don’t have to scramble to make up for any shortfall?
    I would rather expect the worst and be surprised with some extra money then expect the State will honor it’s promises and be sorely disappointed and in financial stress. I would think the former is a better way to manage one’s budget.

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