Denied: Supreme Court will not reconsider school-funding ruling

Connecticut Supreme Court chamber

The state Supreme Court has denied a last-ditch effort by a coalition of parents, teachers and local officials to reconsider the court’s recent decision saying state spending on education meets constitutional standards.

The denial puts an end to a 12-year legal saga and leaves decisions surrounding education funding levels in the hands of the Connecticut General Assembly and the governor.

“In the face of judicial indifference, [our] effort to ensure education adequacy and equity will now focus on the legislative and executive branches of state government,” said Jim Finley, principal consultant for the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The high court ruled 4-3 in mid-January that, while there is no question many school districts struggle to help students overcome poverty, mental health issues at home and other non-educational issues, doing so is not a constitutional obligation.

“It is not the function of the courts … to create educational policy or attempt by judicial fiat to eliminate all of the societal deficiencies that continue to frustrate the state’s educational efforts,” Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers wrote for the majority. “The state’s offering [must be] sufficient to enable a student who takes advantage of them to become a functional member of society.”