Connecticut's attorney general will appeal a landmark court ruling declaring the state's education funding system unconstitutional and calling for reforms. Attorney General George Jepsen announced the appeal to the state Supreme Court on Thursday. He says the legislative and executive branches - not a judge - determine state education policy.
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. Danbury is a lead plaintiff in the suit. 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.
Governor Dannel Malloy says the Attorney General’s decision to appeal does not negate the urgency to take action for students. Malloy says legislative action is always preferable to a judicial decision, and that it would be prudent to address the systemic problems in a serious manner in the 2017 legislative session.
Malloy hopes this marks the start, rather than the stalling, of a statewide dialogue around finding a better way to fund schools, which ultimately results in a better solution for our students and communities.