Connecticutâ€™s Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a special appeal Tuesday â€“ part of the school finance case brought by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.
In 2005 a coalition of municipalities, boards of ed, parents and teachers known as CCJEF filed a lawsuit, charging that Connecticutâ€™s public financing system violates studentsâ€™ constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education. Last year, a Superior court judge dismissed the â€œadequacyâ€ part of the lawsuit.; CCJEF appealed â€“ straight to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Much of the hearing centered around - how to define an â€œadequateâ€ or â€œsuitableâ€ education. Two Yale Law School students argued on behalf of the plaintiffs. They pointed to underperforming schools in Bridgeport and Meriden and said the stateâ€™s constitution gives these students the right to be prepared for a world beyond high school.
Assistant Attorney General Gregory Dâ€™Auria represented the state. He told the court that educational standards are not part of the stateâ€™s constitution. And he said courts are not equipped to determine quality of education. Dâ€™Auria faced questioning by several judges, including Justice Joette Katz. .
Katz: Your point essentially is, as long as its equal, it doesnâ€™t matter how bad it is or how good it is, because thereâ€™s no qualitative component. Is that correct?
D'Auria: Its not that it doesnâ€™t matter, your Honor. Its nothing that a court can measure in and of itself. It matters. It should matter to the executive branch and to the legislative branch.
A decision is expected sometime this summer.