State Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Big School Funding Lawsuit

(CBS Connecticut) — During arguments in Hartford, the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding today sought to convince the state Supreme Court that changes are needed in the way public schools are funded.

The case could have a big effect on schools, especially in poor cities.

The coalition argues that the state is failing in its responsibility to educate students in poor communities.

Some justices questioned a coalition attorney about whether the trial court judge had found education in the state is generally adequate.

Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding attorney Joseph Moodhe said the state has failed to provide minimally adequate education support to poor cities and towns.

“The state has an obligation to provide the resources that give a child the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of an education,” Moodhe said.

Moodhe said all students should have an opportunity to become productive members of society.

The judges questioned a state lawyer about whether Connecticut has an obligation to provide more resources to poor cities where students face problems outside of the classroom that interfere with their ability to learn.

The state argued that it is providing extra assistance to low-performing, poor districts.

Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin represented the state of Connecticut. Rubin argues that the state’s system of funding schools is sufficient, as required under the state constitution.

“Connecticut Children have minimally adequate teachers teaching reasonably up to date basic curricula, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies,” Rubin said. “In impoverished districts with troubled schools, the Department of Education provides very direct help.

The state said public schools are not be required to overcome every obstacle of poverty.

The state Supreme Court will issue a decision at a later date.

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