Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding

Recent Posts

Troubled schools on trial: Will a scathing court decision lead to action?

Malloy sideshot

While changing the way the state distributes school aid among towns may draw substantial support from legislators and the governor, they have shown little interest in, or have outright rejected, changing other polices a Superior Court judge found unconstitutional. Last of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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Troubled schools on trial: Special education driving costs and controversies

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The rate at which students are identified for special education varies drastically across school districts, and school officials differ on whether that’s because districts are over- or under-indentifying students. But they agree the rising cost to educate these students has outpaced inflation and crowds out other supports for students. The state judge presiding over a recent school funding trial blamed the state for not enforcing clear mandates on who is entitled to special education. Sixth of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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Troubled schools on trial: What does a high school diploma prove?

Graduates from New Haven Public Schools, where graduation rates have increase by 12.6 percent since 2010.

A seeming paradox – rising graduation rates coupled with low standardized test scores and high demand for remedial courses in college – was among the reasons that a Hartford Superior Court judge ruled that the state fails to provide students with the education the state constitution says they are entitled to. Fifth of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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Troubled schools on trial: Building boom, pensions lock in big costs statewide

The new Roosevelt Elementary School in Bridgeport opened for the 2015-16 school year. State funds picked up nearly 80 percent of the $44.7 million cost.

School construction costs, coupled with well over $1 billion the state must contribute each year toward teachers’ pensions, mean about 40 percent of the state’s annual education spending is locked in for years to come. Third of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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Troubled schools on trial: A broken formula for state aid

Hartford residents at the state Capitol join some legislators and students to call for an overhaul to how schools are funded

To fix the formula, legislators would have to decide whether there is inequity in how state aid is distributed to towns, simply a lack of money, or both. Any major change would mean huge fiscal consequences and political battles. Second of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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Troubled schools on trial: When poverty permeates the classroom

A student walks by one of the many boarded up houses in an impoverished neighborhood in Hartford on the way to school.

“The state of education in some towns is alarming,” wrote the judge presiding over a recent five-month trial on state funding of failing schools. Whether the state is doing enough to educate children in poverty was at the core of the case, which explored the struggles of students in the state’s lowest-performing schools. First of seven stories. Continue Reading →

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State Supreme Court says it will review school funding case

Connecticut Supreme Court

The state Supreme Court will hear an expedited appeal of a lower court’s conclusion that the way the state distributes education aid and oversees local schools is unconstitutional. Continue Reading →

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CCJEF attorneys ask high court to reject AG appeal, for now

Herbert C. Rosenthal, president of the coalition that brought the suit, called the decision  "a landmark victory."

The coalition of education reformers who won a suit striking down Connecticut’s school funding formula as unconstitutional on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to deny the attorney general’s request for an expedited appeal of the case. Continue Reading →

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Jepsen files appeal, says Moukawsher school ruling ‘legally unsupported’

Attorney General George Jepsen and his deputy, Perry Zinn-Rowthorn.

Attorney General George Jepsen’s office filed an appeal Thursday asking the Connecticut Supreme Court to conclude that a trial judge embarked on “an uncharted and legally unsupported path” last week in asserting authority over how the state distributes education aid and sets standards for graduating from high school, serving special-needs students and evaluating teachers. Continue Reading →

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Malloy, a plaintiff and then a defendant, hedges on school appeal

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the CCJEF appeal decision belongs to the attorney general.

NEW HAVEN — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday he agreed with the “core” of Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s finding last week that Connecticut’s distribution of education aid was so irrational as to be unconstitutional, but the ruling raises so many legal and practical complexities that he will defer a decision on an appeal to Attorney General George Jepsen. Continue Reading →

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Judge strikes down state education aid choices as ‘irrational’

Herbert C. Rosenthal, president of the coalition that brought the suit, called the decision  "a landmark victory."

In a broad indictment of how Connecticut supports its poorest schools, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled Wednesday that the state’s method for distributing education aid is irrational and unconstitutional, while declining to second-guess the General Assembly on the ultimate level of state spending. Continue Reading →

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Judge presses state on approach to school funding as trial wraps

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The five-month trial examining whether the lowest-performing schools in Connecticut are providing students with the education the state constitution requires came to a close Wednesday with final arguments from the attorney defending the state and sharp questioning from the judge. The judge will now craft a complex decision almost certain to become the basis of an appeal to the state Supreme Court. Continue Reading →

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On trial: Is educational opportunity sufficient everywhere in CT?

Supertior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher

Opening arguments begin today in a trial five-month trial to ultimately determine whether the education being provided in Connecticut’s lowest-achieving school districts fulfills the state’s constitutional obligation. Continue Reading →

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