For Local Presidents
Connecticut Education Association Statement
September 15, 2016
STATEMENT FROM CEA PRESIDENT SHEILA COHEN ON THE STATE'S APPEAL OF THE CCJEF V. RELL COURT RULING
We are pleased that the state is appealing certain aspects of the broad and overreaching court ruling in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell (CCJEF v. Rell) lawsuit.
The court found that Connecticut's education funding system is flawed and recognized the need to do more for students in high-poverty districts and we agree—but it failed to require the state to provide adequate funding for all schools—the heart of the CCJEF v. Rell lawsuit. We are disheartened that the state did not appeal this part of the ruling.
Many of our children, especially minority children and those living in high-poverty districts, are being disproportionately and negatively impacted by the state's flawed funding system. We need to fully-fund education to meet the state constitutional guarantee that all children in Connecticut receive adequate educational opportunities, regardless of their zip code.
The state attorney general made the right decision to appeal the part of the judge's ruling that imposed mandates on everything from determining how teachers are evaluated to denying education to severely disabled children to requiring new graduation standards. These education policy issues are clearly within the purview of the state legislature and executive branches of government—the democratic process which allows input from all stakeholders—and should not rest in the hands of a single person.
We will continue to work with education stakeholders to improve, rather than devalue, the teaching profession, and secure the resources and opportunities that all students deserve.
Update: September 20, 2016 - 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. Read the CTMirror article for additional details.
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.