Connecticut to Appeal Landmark Education Ruling

Connecticut's attorney general will appeal a landmark court ruling that declared the state's education funding system unconstitutional and called for reforms

Attorney General George Jepsen announced the appeal to the state Supreme Court on Thursday and said the legislative and executive branches -- not a judge -- determine state education policy. 

Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement that the attorney general’s decision to appeal does not negate the urgency to take action for students.

“It would be prudent to address the systemic problems in our educational system, particularly fair funding, in a serious manner once and for all in the 2017 legislative session. Legislative action is always preferable to a judicial decision,” Malloy said.

He said the state began investing hundreds of millions of dollars in education and students are showing progress in math and reading on state tests, but there is more work to do.

“We hope that this moment marks the start, rather than the stalling, of a statewide dialogue around finding a better way to fund our schools, which ultimately results in a better solution for our students and communities,” Malloy said. “We should act together, and we should do it sooner rather than later.” 

Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled last week in an 11-year-old lawsuit that the state must submit plans to overhaul its education system and change its school funding formula within 180 days. 

The lawsuit was filed by a coalition of cities, towns, school boards, parents and students. The plaintiffs say the current system relies too heavily on local property taxes and favors wealthier towns, resulting in a big gap in test scores between students in rich and poor towns.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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