Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers on Tuesday granted an appeal against the court’s earlier decision that the state’s education funding system is unconstitutional.
The appeal was filed by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen on Sept. 15 in the contentious Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell case that has grappled with the system since the suit was first filed in 2005.
The case picked up steam again this month after a Sept. 7 ruling by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher, which declared that significant discrepancies between high- and low-income towns in terms of college- and career-readiness indicate that the state was defaulting on its “constitutional duty” to educate children from low-income households, and that the state government should be constitutionally responsible for providing satisfactory education to all students, regardless of their families’ financial background.
But on Sept. 15, Jepsen said the state would seek a direct appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court regarding Moukawsher’s decision, on the grounds that the court had overstepped its jurisdiction when issuing the decision.
Following the Sept. 20 announcement of the granting of the appeal, CCJEF released a statement in response to the order.
“Now that the chief justice has determined that the Connecticut Supreme Court should hear all of the determinations made by the trial court in its partial decision, the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding looks forward to the full consideration of the important issues addressed in Judge Moukawsher’s opinion,” the statement read. “Our public-school students have waited over a decade for their day in court.”
After Jepsen requested an appeal on Sept. 15, Rogers invited the CCJEF plaintiffs to file an opposition, which they did on Sept. 19. The plaintiffs also requested in their motion that, alternatively, were the appeal to be granted, the court “fully review all of the rulings made by the trial court” up to that point in the case.
In a Monday statement to the News, Director of Communications for the Attorney General’s Office Jaclyn Falkowski said Jepsen was in agreement with the plaintiffs that, if the Supreme Court were to take up the matter, it should “review all appeal issues in order to bring finality to this long-standing matter.”
Thus Rogers’ order granting Jepsen’s appeal on Tuesday included language that said Rogers would also grant the plaintiffs’ request to “review issues decided adversely to the plaintiffs as listed in the plaintiffs’ opposition to the defendants’ application.”
Rogers was nominated to the chief justice position by former Gov. M. Jodi Rell and was sworn in on April 25, 2007.