The lawsuit is called CCFEF v. Rell.
As we know, it is the most important school funding lawsuit in more than 40 years. Despite their previous support for the lawsuit, Governor Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen are now working overtime to try and prevent he case from even being heard.
And now the Connecticut Post’s editorial writers weigh in…on the side of Connecticut’s students.
The CT Post writes;
“Eight years and countless hours of work into a suit that seeks more money for children in underserved communities, the governor and attorney general are asking that it be dismissed. While that would certainly make their lives easier, their reasoning is flawed, and a judge should reject their pleas and allow the suit to continue.
It was during the governorship of M. Jodi Rell that the suit was filed under the banner of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, arguing that Connecticut children are being shortchanged by state funding formulas, and that the state is not meeting its obligation to provide an “adequate” education to all children.
Parents and officials in the state’s major cities were behind the effort, and their ranks included the mayor of Stamford at the time — Dannel P. Malloy.
Now Malloy, as governor, and Attorney General George Jepsen are urging a court to dismiss the suit, and using a number of specious arguments. For one, they say the group lacks standing to sue the state, which is odd, considering parents and school officials in underfunded districts have more stake than anyone in the quality of education offered in Connecticut.
Jepsen has argued that it would be unfair to decide the case based on conditions from 2005, when the suit was filed. But surely it’s not the fault of the suit’s backers that it has taken this long to work its way through the courts. If that argument is successful, anyone sued would have everything to gain by simply delaying whenever possible and then calling the action old news, as the state is trying to do here.
State lawyers also argue that the education reform package signed by Malloy last year makes the issue moot. This argument has the least merit. While those reforms do many things, they do not approach a solution for the chronic underfunding of urban districts, and some would argue they make the system worse. To say the law needs a few years to gauge its effectiveness is yet another delaying tactic.
The Connecticut Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that every child is entitled to an “adequate” education, and sent the case back to the lower court to determine whether the state is providing that. Connecticut does spend a lot of money on its schools, some $3.8 billion this fiscal year. There is good reason to think that money could be spent more wisely.
But that is for a court to decide. What must not happen is for the suit to be dismissed before it is heard.
The lawsuit, and Connecticut’s students, deserve a day in court.”
You can find the Connecticut Post’s editorial here: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/State-students-should-get-their-day-in-court-4824907.php
It sure would be a refreshing change if our elected officials stopped spinning in circles, took the time to read this editorial and then followed the CT Post’s advice.