After twelve years of winding through the courts, today the Connecticut Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the final appeal of a lower court’s decision in the landmark CCJEF v. Rell case, which ruled that Connecticut’s method of funding public schools is arbitrary, irrational, and unconstitutional.
Before the hearing, faith leaders, parents, and community activists gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court building to call on the Court to uphold the CCJEF decision and mandate a funding formula that treats all of Connecticut’s students fairly. ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander attended the hearing and issued the following statement in response:
Whatever the Supreme Court ultimately decides, our state leaders have an urgent responsibility to come up with a school funding formula that treats all students, at all types of public schools, fairly. The CCJEF decision rightly pointed out that far too many students are not getting the quality education they need and ordered the state to fix these longstanding problems. For the sake of our kids, I hope the Supreme Court upholds the ruling.
Let’s be clear: a state as small as Connecticut should not have 11 different ways to fund public schools, as it does now. As Judge Moukawsher pointed out in his CCJEF decision, “Some schools soar, while others sink.” We cannot afford to perpetuate this system. We need to ensure that all children graduate prepared for success, regardless of their race, family income, or zip code.
This case has gone on for over a decade. Politicians cannot agree on a state budget, including a fair school funding formula. Meanwhile, our kids continue to wait for someone to fix the problem. It’s time for our state leaders to act and come up with a sound, equitable formula that treats all kids at all schools fairly. Our kids and our state cannot wait any longer.