In the State

CCJEF Update: State Supreme Court Denies Motion To Expedite Landmark Funding Trial Appeal

It looks like the appeal for CCJEF v. Rell won’t be resolved in time for the end of the state legislative session.

Last month, in an unusual move, the State Attorney General George Jepsen, filed a motion requesting the State Supreme Court expedite the appeals process for the landmark CCJEF school funding lawsuit. In the motion, Jepsen argued that speeding up the decision of the courts was in the public interest, since “the other branches of government will benefit from having this Court’s ruling, as soon as possible.”

That request, unfortunately, has since been denied by the higher court. The Connecticut Mirror: has the story:

With the court’s decision not to hear the case the first week of May, the next window for the justices to hear the appeal will be in September – months after the legislative session that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has dedicated to figuring out a new school funding approach is set to adjourn.

It has not been determined which justices will hear the case, but Justices Gregory T. D’Auria and Andrew McDonald have both recused themselves. D’Auria represented the state in the lawsuit during his tenure in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office and McDonald was Malloy’s chief lawyer.

After hearing months of testimony, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled that the state is spending enough overall on education aid, but the way it is distributed is irrational, and therefore unconstitutional.

“The state of education in some towns is alarming,” Moukawsher ruled. “Too little money is chasing too many needs… If the egregious gaps between rich and poor school districts in this state don’t require more overall state spending, they at least cry out for coherently calibrated state spending” that factors in “the special circumstances of the state’s poorest communities.”

With no resolution in sight this session, this means it’s up to the legislature if something is to be done this year.



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