Wait, What? readers know about the pending lawsuit known as CCJEF vs. Rell. It is the case in which Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled that Connecticut’s children have a constitutionally guaranteed right to a quality education.
They also know that in what can only be described as a truly outrageous move, Governor Dannel Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen are trying to stop this education lawsuit from being heard and resolved.
Despite having promised their support for the lawsuit, they are now not only trying to get the case dismissed, but are asking the court to prevent the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding [CCJEF], a broad coalition of towns, schools, parents and public school advocates, from even serving as the plaintiffs in the case.
They are taking this unholy action despite the fact that the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered the lower court to hear the case.
And perhaps worst of all, this destructive action is being perpetrated by people who not only said they supported the lawsuit, but used that support to deceive the people of Connecticut into voting for them.
Dan Malloy and the education lawsuit of our lifetime;
On November 22, 2005, Stamford Mayor and Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Malloy issued a press release entitled “Malloy Supports Lawsuit Challenging Education Funding System…says that reforming the education funding system is an issue of ‘fundamental fairness.’”
As a candidate seeking votes, Malloy’s gubernatorial campaign wrote, “Stamford Mayor and Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Malloy joined fellow members of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding [CCJEF] today in filing a lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s existing school funding formula as inadequate. Malloy is a founding member of CCJEF coalition, which commissioned a June 2005 cost study demonstrating that 92 of Connecticut’s 166 school districts fell short of funding levels deemed to be necessary for providing children with an adequate education, as demanded under Federal and State law.”
Malloy’s press release quoted him as saying, “The bottom line is that Connecticut’s Education Cost Sharing [ECS] Formula should be scrapped and rebuilt and the State of Connecticut must finally live up to its obligation and pay its share of our education costs. The existing ECS formula has been deliberately under-funded and arbitrarily capped. This isn’t an urban versus suburban issue or a big government versus small government issue; it’s an issue of fundamental fairness. Every child in Connecticut deserves the opportunity to get an adequate education. Our constitution demands it.”
The lawsuit that candidate Malloy was so strongly supporting is based on the recognition that Connecticut’s school funding system “has resulted in constitutional violations that disproportionately impact African-American, Latino, and other minority students.”
Malloy’s press release specifically highlighted an op-ed that Malloy had published just the week before in the Hartford Courant. In the commentary piece, Malloy wrote “The Rowland and Rell administrations have very deliberately and systemically under-funded local education in the State budget as a means of shifting costs to local government. Quite frankly, that’s why we have a property tax crisis in this State. While John Rowland bragged about tax cuts, local government picked up the burden — and the result is a combination of inadequate education and skyrocketing property tax.”
Malloy’s Hartford Courant piece went on to say, “Connecticut has a moral obligation to provide every child with an adequate education — regardless of race, income, or geography. We are saying today that Connecticut also has a Constitutional obligation. In the absence of gubernatorial leadership on this issue, the lawsuit filed today calls attention to one of the most significant problems existing in Connecticut today.”
And here we are, eight years later and more than two years into Governor Malloy’s tenure as Connecticut’s Chief Elected Official and not only has Malloy failed to lead the way on this crucial issue, but he is, in fact, leading the charge in exactly the wrong direction.
Instead of working tirelessly to resolve the lawsuit, he is working with Attorney General George Jepsen to try to get the case dismissed.
You can read more about this vital case at Fighting Children in the Courtroom and Malloy reverses earlier commitment to school funding case and here at Wait, What? in It’s only the most important school funding case in our lives – Malloy supported it/Now he opposes it
You can also read the State’s stunningly obnoxious and insulting motion to dismiss the case at: http://ccjef.org/wp-content/uploads/States-Memo-of-Law-re-Motion-to-Dismiss-Jan-2013.pdf