January 2016

Historic Education Finance Case Gets Underway in Hartford

Issues of adequate and equitable funding to be decided

There's new hope for all Connecticut children to receive the adequate and equitable funding necessary for a high-quality education as the case CCJEF v. Rell is underway in Hartford Superior Court. The case has been 11 years in the making—beginning when schoolchildren and their parents together with the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) filed suit against the state of Connecticut for failing to adequately and equitably fund public schools.

As a result of the state's education funding failure, CCJEF has argued that many children have been denied the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, continue their education at the post-secondary level, and secure meaningful employment. The coalition also argues that minority students have been disproportionately, negatively impacted by the state's funding system.

"As a founding member of CCJEF we are proud to see the case come before the courts for adjudication," said CEA President Sheila Cohen. "We hope to finally see all Connecticut children be assured an adequate and equitable education as required by the state constitution."

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of towns and cities, local boards of education, statewide professional education associations—including CEA—as well as 25 students and their parents. Member communities represent nearly half of Connecticut's public school students, including three quarters of students who are minorities, from low-income households, and whose families do not speak English as their primary language.

The trial began on January 12 and is expected to last through the spring.

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