Press Releases


Connecticut State Board of Education Action Concerning Hartford Public School's Fiscal Operations

On May 15, 2024, the Accountability and Support Committee of the State Board of Education (SBE) heard from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools (HPS) on the impact of the reductions included in the proposed 2024-25 HPS budget, particularly the reductions to staff.

On June 5, 2024, the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE) authorized the Commissioner of Education to take necessary actions under Section 10-223e of the Connecticut General Statutes to ensure the stability of fiscal operations of Hartford Public Schools (HPS).

To read the full Board report, go to

When a district effectively manages its funding, leveraging all available resources and allocating those resources efficiently, it ensures student access to a quality education that meets their individual needs and prepares them for achieving the SBE’s overarching goal: Every Student Prepared for Learning, Life, and Work Beyond School.

In response to the SBE’s action, the CSDE will undertake the following three-pronged approach, beginning immediately, and phased in over the next few months.

1) Magnet School Assessment: Optimizing Funds Utilization

Initial activity will be led by the CSDE Office of Internal Audit (OIA) to review the utilization of state magnet school funding to support the operation of these interdistrict choice schools. The OIA will review HPS’ funding of its magnet schools through its equity-based framework to assess (1) alignment with the goals and commitments of the most recent Stipulation and Court Order in the Sheff v. O’Neill case—signed by the City of Hartford—and (2) compliance with the statutory requirements of interdistrict magnet schools in Section 10-264l of the Connecticut General Statutes to provide high-quality, themed, and integrated education.

2) Special Education Services Assessment and Enhancement

The CSDE, through its existing partnership with the State Education Resource Center (SERC), will work with HPS to understand the impact, if any, the HPS budget will have on the district’s ability to fulfill its federal and state obligations for the provision of services to students with disabilities. The CSDE and SERC will also collaborate with HPS in assessing the continuum of supports and services available to students in the public-school setting and to identify factors contributing to the increased need to place students in specialized programs.

Following this assessment, the CSDE and SERC will continue to provide support and identify staffing patterns, service delivery models, and current professional learning needs. This collaborative approach is designed to enhance the district’s capacity to meet the diverse needs of its students.

3) Improvement of Financial Systems

The CSDE will engage an external entity to examine HPS’ preexisting financial systems and procedures along with current operational structures to determine both short- and long-term action steps to improving financial operations. This will also provide the needed technical assistance to ensure: (1) no funds are returned to the state or federal government due to a failure to meet grant expenditure deadlines; (2) that the district meets all state and federal compliance requirements, including the proper utilization of grants for their intended statutory purposes; and (3) the district is able to maximize the financial resources available to it in promoting successful student outcomes. The successful allocation and deployment of financial and human resources are critical to supporting needs at the school and classroom level.


Throughout this process, the CSDE will routinely brief the SBE regarding this proactive, unified, three-pronged approach, which will assist HPS in achieving fiscal health and the stability of financial systems, resulting in improved delivery of services to students, educators, and families. Enhancing educational outcomes for all HPS students is the central focus of this SBE action, and through our routine SBE briefings, members of the public will be kept apprised of our progress. SBE meetings will also provide an opportunity for parents and families, students, and members of the school community to address the Board through public testimony on this action.



For immediate release:
Matthew Cerrone
Director of Communications
Connecticut Department of Education
Phone: 860-424-1988

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