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New CCJEF President and Steering Committee

East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey was elected by acclamation of CCJEF members attending this year’s sixth annual meeting at The Lyceum in Hartford Friday, April 16. Bristol Public Schools Superintendent Philip Streifer was chosen as Vice President, New Britain parent Merrill Gay becomes Treasurer, and Bridgeport Community Organizer Marilyn Ondrasik will serve as Secretary of CCJEF.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW CCJEF STEERING COMMITTEE, elected April 16, 2010

PRESS COVERAGE OF CCJEF v. RELL VICTORY

The Supreme Court’s announcement of the most important education decision in three decades was covered throughout Connecticut. The decision guarantees all schoolchildren an adequate education, one that prepares them to participate in democratic institutions, obtain gainful employment, and continue on to higher education. This decision is a major victory for education in Connecticut. For more expansive coverage of the decision in the press, see below:

NEWSPAPER

State High Court Ruling Cites Need for Quantifying Education Quality
Hartford Courant

After 25 Years, Broken Education System Remains the Same
Hartford Courant

Yale Law Clinic Wins Landmark Schools Ruling
New Haven Independent

Court Ruling Could Bring Vast School Reforms
New Haven Register

State Schools Missing Mark: Unequal Education at Center of Case
New Haven Register

Supreme Court Says Students Guaranteed ‘Suitable’ Education
Connecticut Law Tribune

Conn. High Court Sets Minimum Education Standard
Associated Press

Danbury Area Officials Welcome State Supreme Court Rule Favoring Education Funding Reform
Danbury News Times

Court Sanctions Challenge to State School Equity, Funding
Connecticut Post

Law Students Help Win Education Suit
Yale Daily News

School Decision Presents Another Challenge to Cash-Strapped State
Connecticut Mirror

Funding of Education in State Could Change
The Day

RADIO AND TV

State High Court Sides With Advocacy Group on Education Funding
WTIC

High Court Rules Against Conn.
WSHU

Ruling Appealed for Better Education
WTNH

Court Revives Lawsuit Over How Schools are Paid for in Connecticut
NECN

CT Supreme Court Decides Education Standards
WNPR

BLOGS

Ned Lamont, Dannel Malloy on CCJEF Court Decision; Blumenthal Says Ruling Lack a Majority for Clear Result
Major State Supreme Court Ruling on Education in CCJEF Case; Hartford Receiving About $187 Million in ECS Funds
Hartford Courant Capitol Watch Blog

Underfunding Public Schools Undermines Excellence Says State Supreme Court
CEA Blog

Connecticut High Court Says Constitution Guarantees College or Job Readiness
Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules that Public Schools Must Provide an Adequate Education
Chronicle of Higher Education Blog

CT NAACP STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR CCJEF v. RELL DECISION

The Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches issued the following press release following the decision in CCJEF v. Rell.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Monday, March 22, 2010                John Brittain, 832-687-3007
 
 
CT Supreme Court Supports NAACP Move, Education Funding Coalition Lawsuit

HARTFORD – The Connecticut Supreme Court today voted in favor of  a lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, which claimed unequal education on behalf of schoolchildren and parents. The State NAACP had filed a friend of court brief in support of the CCJEF in its case against the State and its Governor, M. Jodi Rell.

“The NAACP has stood behind the Coalition’s efforts to ensure adequate education for each and every child in the state,” NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile said. “And we stand ready to fight for the right of every child to graduate from high school, succeed in college and compete in our global economy.”
 
Connecticut is home to the worst achievement gap between poor and non-poor children, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The State has also been slow to satisfactorily address the Connecticut Supreme Court’s order to reduce the ethnic and racial isolation and unequal educational opportunities outlined in the Sheff v. O‘Neill case.

John Brittain, Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, lauded the Supreme Court decision. “Article 8 of the Connecticut Constitution states that children have a fundamental right to an adequate education,” Brittain said. “This decision marks the first time that the Supreme Court has acknowledged this right in broad terms, and adds to decisions such as Sheff and Horton v. Meskill in extending the right to adequate education.”

PLAINTIFFS WIN – EVERY CHILD IN CONNECTICUT HAS THE RIGHT TO A SUITABLE EDUCATION – PRESS RELEASE HERE

The Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in CCJEF v. Rell.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that all Connecticut schoolchildren have a constitutional right to an effective and meaningful education. In reaching one of its most important and fundamental decisions in thirty years, the Court stated that, “the fundamental right to an education is not an empty linguistic shell” and must meet “modern educational standards.” The Court said these standards must prepare students to “participate in democratic institutions,” “attain productive employment,” and “progress on to higher education.”

CCJEF Press Release

NPR: Town Officials, School Leaders Ask State for More Funding

More than 200 gathered at the state capitol to ask for more state funding to help sustain public schools.

Both Governor Jodi Rell and the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee have proposed flat-funding the Education Cost Sharing grant, or ECS, that municipalities receive from the state.

According to Dianne Kaplan deVries, the Project Director for the State’s Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, these budget proposals will result in massive layoffs, larger class sizes, and many program cuts.

“As municipalities and their school boards struggle to pay for rising wages tied to contractual obligations, ever-escalating healthcare premiums, soaring special education costs, and heavy burdens owing to No Child Left Behind and other federal and state mandates, the Governor and the general assemble must recognize that the bulk of education costs cannot continue to be passed on to cities and towns.”

Read the entire NPR story