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School Finance Lawsuit
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Connecticut’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a special appeal Tuesday – 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 Connecticut’s public financing system violates students’ constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education. Last year, a Superior court judge dismissed the “adequacy” part of the lawsuit.; CCJEF appealed – straight to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Much of the hearing centered around - how to define an “adequate” or “suitable” education. Two Yale Law School students argued on behalf of the plaintiffs. They pointed to underperforming schools in Bridgeport and Meriden and said the state’s constitution gives these students the right to be prepared for a world beyond high school.

Assistant Attorney General Gregory D’Auria represented the state. He told the court that educational standards are not part of the state’s constitution. And he said courts are not equipped to determine quality of education. D’Auria faced questioning by several judges, including Justice Joette Katz. .

Katz: Your point essentially is, as long as its equal, it doesn’t matter how bad it is or how good it is, because there’s no qualitative component. Is that correct?

D'Auria: Its not that it doesn’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.