Lawsuit Challenges Education Funding in Connecticut

Sep 16, 2013

A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.

That means, they say, that schoolchildren have the right to graduate prepared for college and to become effective citizens. In its 2010 ruling on the adequacy portion of the case, the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed.

Today the state is expected to argue that education reforms enacted in 2012, along with changes to the ECS funding formula, which is the most important source of school funding from the state to towns, satisfy the concerns raised in the lawsuit and the case should be dismissed.

To argue that those education reforms that have been enacted by the last two  legislative sessions are sufficient and have resolved this case is just simply ludicrous," said Dianne Kaplan deVries, the project director for CCJEF.

"We’ve had over 30 years of the ECS without adequate resources in our schools," she added. "And it looks like it's up to this lawsuit to make certain the next 30 years aren't just more of the same or even worse."

Today's hearing takes place in Hartford Superior Court.