Statement from AG Jepsen on Next Steps in CCJEF v. Rell
Attorney General George Jepsen today issued the following statement to announce that the state will seek a direct appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court of the ruling issued by the Superior Court last week in the case of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell:
"Under our system of government, state education policy is determined by the Legislative and Executive Branches and implemented under a strong tradition of local control by municipal school boards and, ultimately, teachers. This decision would wrest educational policy from the representative branches of state government, limit public education for some students with special needs, create additional municipal mandates concerning graduation and other standards, and alter the basic terms of educators' employment – and entrust all of those matters to the discretion of a single, unelected judge.
"For the public and legislators to trust the legitimacy of such a dramatically new system and the policies it produces, they must know that the ruling mandating it is legally correct. There are strong arguments that the trial court exceeded its authority and the standards articulated by the Connecticut Supreme Court, and so today we are asking that court to review this ruling.
"Despite its order, the trial court correctly determined that the state far exceeds its minimum constitutional obligations for providing equitable access to adequate education. Nevertheless, the ruling identified profound educational challenges that remain and must continue to receive serious and sustained attention – and action – at every level of government. Nothing about this appeal prevents policymakers from immediately addressing those challenges, and I urge them to do so without delay."