Landmark Lawsuit Moves Forward That May Affect Public Education Funding

Jan 21, 2014

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A Hartford Superior Court judge has denied a request by the state to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. The attorney general’s office had filed motions aimed at postponing the start of the trial until October 2015. Now, the case is set to begin later this year. 

The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates. Project director Dianne Kaplan deVries said, "Finally getting to court after nine years is a huge step forward."

According to CCJEF, the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education. That means, CCJEF says, that school children have the right to graduate prepared for college and to become effective citizens. 

"Unfortunately," deVries said, "while this case has languished in the courts, we have lost tens of thousands of students, and others have graduated without being adequately prepared."

CCJEF sued the state in 2005. In 2010, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on a challenge to the adequacy portion of the lawsuit. The trial will begin in July or September.