CCJEF v. Rell Decision: Key Elements of Connecticut Education System Found Unconstitutional!!

“This is a landmark victory for Connecticut’s public school students. The Court’s decision will have a significant impact on educational funding and opportunities in Connecticut, and potential ramifications in educational jurisprudence across the country,” said Herbert C. Rosenthal, President of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding [CCJEF].

“This case was brought to ensure that all Connecticut students receive adequate and equitable educational opportunities. With this decision, we are on the path to see that goal realized,” said James J. Finley, Principal Consultant to CCJEF and an expert witness in the case.

“These proceedings have shown how school districts in Connecticut, particularly high-poverty school districts, have been getting short-changed. Today’s decision marks the first step toward ensuring all students have meaningful opportunities to become college- and career-ready,” said Rosenthal.

“Today’s decision is the culmination of an extensive trial that took place over six months and involved testimony from more than 50 witnesses. At the end of the day, CCJEF believes the evidence was overwhelming, and the court’s careful consideration of that evidence confirms it was,” continued Rosenthal.

“Now that the court has found that key elements of the existing education system are unconstitutional, it must begin the all-important task of constructing specific remedies to address the system’s inadequacies. CCJEF, as befits our unique role as plaintiff, looks forward to taking a lead role in moving that process forward quickly in order to fix Connecticut’s educational funding system and eliminate the achievement gaps,” said Finley.

“Our only regret today is that CCJEF’s founder and long-time Project Director, Dr. Dianne Kaplan deVries, did not live long enough to see this day. It was because of Dianne’s vision and tenacity that Connecticut public school children finally got their day in court,” said Rosenthal.
CCJEF decision photo

CCJEF called 34 witnesses during our case-in-chief while the State called 18 witnesses.  There were 61 days in court. Click on this “CURRENT CASE DETAILS” link for the final briefs and findings of fact filed by the parties and for the most up-to-date information on any new developments in the historic CCJEF v. Rell case.

CCJEF was ably represented by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.  The Debevoise team, which spent a year and a half in pre-trial preparation (depositions, site visits, research, etc.), was led by Attorney Joseph Moodhe with assistance from Attorney David Noland, Attorney Dustin Nofziger, and a host of other attorneys, paralegals and support staff.

Invaluable assistance was provided by Attorney Alex Knopp and the Yale Law School students and faculty, past and present, who worked on this case.  Yale Law School has been with this case from the beginning.

Important assistance was also provided by Attorney David Rosen and his colleagues.

Keys to the success of this effort so far have been the dedication and leadership of the CCJEF Steering Committee, officers, members and plaintiff group.

And last, but certainly not least, thanks and gratitude for the late Dr. Dianne Kaplan deVries.  Dianne — CCJEF founder, long-time project director and guiding light – is the reason CT’s schoolchildren of today and tomorrow finally got their day in court.

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The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding [CCJEF] is the largest and most diverse education reform coalition ever organized and established in our state. Don’t be fooled by well-funded PR campaigns: Accept no organizational substitutes to CCJEF — the real deal.  Other so-called “reform” groups and coalitions have lately proliferated and tried to expropriate CCJEF’s message and goals to further their own narrow, special interests. CCJEF, on the other hand, has been in the trenches since 2005 working through the courts and the executive and legislative branches to achieve education adequacy and equity in CT’s failed education finance system. Our State Constitution demands no less for all our PK-12 public school students!

Click on the “CURRENT CASE DETAILS” link for the most up-to-date information on any new developments in the historic CCJEF v. Rell case.

Thanks to all for your continued support of, and interest in, the landmark CCJEF v. Rell case.