Sandy Hook Panel Finalizes Distribution Plan For Victims

The Hartford Courant

NEWTOWN — The families of the 26 children and educators who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings each will receive $281,000 under a final plan quietly approved by the foundation overseeing what has become a controversial fund.

The families of the 12 children who survived the massacre in two classrooms will get $20,000 each, while the two teachers who were injured will get $75,000 each.

That final plan is the same one the three-member distribution committee, formed by the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, presented at a public hearing last week when they announced that $7.7 million would be distributed to the victims. The remainder of the nearly $11.5 million fund will be distributed within the community and not to the victim's families.

The proposal was developed by Ken Feinberg, as an adviser to the committe. He has handled other major funds following tragedies, and the families wanted Feinberg brought in to distribute the entire fund to victims, but the foundation chose to distribute 70 percent of the fund to the victims and set aside the rest for the potential long-term needs of the community.

Former federal judge Alan Nevas, chairman of the distribution committee, thanked Feinberg for developing the formula. Feinberg recommended that 95 percent of the $7.7 million slated for the victims should go to the 26 families of those slain at the school.

"We went through a thoughtful and deliberate process which included private meetings with many of the families and received input at a public forum," Nevas said. "While no amount of money can serve to ease the pain experienced by these families, we feel confident in these recommendations and wish the Foundation well in its continuing work to help the community of Newtown heal."

The foundation will now set up a second committee to be in charge of the remainder of the fund. It is unclear if there will be public hearings on the distribution of that money.

The foundation has been criticized by family members and Gov. Dannel Malloy for not bringing in a third party to administer the fund. Malloy earlier this week asked the foundation not to preclude giving more of the remaining funds to the victims.

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