The Connecticut Supreme Court held oral arguments at 10am today in the case of Lopez v. Vallas.
The question before the court is whether to overturn the Connecticut Superior Court’s ruling that Paul Vallas lacks the credentials to serve as a superintendent of schools in Connecticut.
The hearing was the end of the line in a saga that pits Governor Malloy, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor and Paul Vallas against the laws of Connecticut.
Last year, Governor Malloy and Commissioner Pryor proposed a new law that was meant to allow Paul Vallas to serve as Bridgeport’s superintendent of schools as long as he successfully completed a school leadership program at a Connecticut institution of higher education.
But instead, Paul Vallas took a three credit independent study class at the University of Connecticut. The State Board of Education, as instructed by Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, then called the course a school leadership program.
Based on Vallas completing his independent study (aka a school leadership program), Pryor then dutifully waived Vallas’ need for state certification and the members of the Bridgeport Board of Education loyal to Mayor Bill Finch then gave Vallas a three-year $234,000 a year contract.
That maneuver led a Connecticut superior court judge to rule that Vallas and Pryor had violated the law and that Vallas lacked the credentials necessary to serve as a superintendent of schools in Connecticut.
Vallas, with the help of taxpayer funded lawyers costing up to $100,000, appealed the decision to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
And at today’s Supreme Court Hearing, while Vallas’ lawyers were present, there was no sign of Paul Vallas, Education Commissioner Pryor or Mayor Bill Finch.
For those that are interested, here are the news articles about today’s court session.
Connecticut Post: State Supreme Court hears Vallas arguments
Associated Press: Conn. Supreme Court hears Vallas case
Hartford Courant: Supreme Court Hears Bridgeport Superintendent Case
The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next month or so.
The question being…do they decide to follow the rule of law or defer to the whim and wishes of the Governor and his corporate education reform industry associates?