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Posted inEducation, Money

State education funding to be a battleground in budget dispute

Huge questions over how state aid for schools and state colleges ultimately will fare will be a critical focus of Democratic and Republican leaders as they grapple with reconciling their vastly different state budgets. Here are the critical differences in funding for schools and colleges that Democrats and Republicans must resolve.

Posted inEducation, Justice

Troubled schools on trial: Special education driving costs and controversies

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.

Posted inEducation, Justice

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

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.

Posted inEducation, Justice

Troubled schools on trial: When poverty permeates the classroom

“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.

Posted inEducation, Justice

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

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.

Posted inEducation, Justice

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

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.

Posted inEducation, Justice, Politics

Judge strikes down state education aid choices as ‘irrational’

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.

Posted inEducation

Judge presses state on approach to school funding as trial wraps

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.