Court Considers Whether State May Remove Local School Boards

By STEPHANIE REITZ, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s high court is considering the legality of a statute that let state officials remove Bridgeport’s elected school board and appoint new members.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in the case, which stems from the state Board of Education’s decision last summer to let its commissioner replace the bickering Bridgeport board.

A 2007 state law allows those takeovers in districts where schools are in dire need of improvement.

The plaintiffs include parents, potential candidates and ousted board members who opposed the takeover.

They argue it violated their right to elect candidates and that even if the statute is legal, the state skipped the mandatory step of requiring special training for dysfunctional boards.

State and Bridgeport attorneys say the board voluntarily waived that training when it voted 6-3 to request the takeover.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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