A MUST READ – Kevin Rennie: Judge Decides Disabled Kids Not Worth Teaching
Hartford Courant columnist, blogger, lawyer and former legislator, Kevin Rennie, has a MUST READ commentary piece in the Hartford Courant today about Judge Moukawsher’s outrageous and mean-spirited attack on Connecticut children who require special education services.
Reposted below, you can read and comment on Kevin Rennie’s piece at: http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-rennie-ct-school-moukawsher-disabled-0918-20160915-column.html
Kevin Rennie writes;
Compassion has been declared unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge. Our leaders refuse to condemn his brutal assault on those with disabilities. Delusions rule as Connecticut enters an age of shame.Thomas Moukawsher, a judge, Malloy appointee and former Democratic organization foot soldier, read his meandering, sloppy decision on public school funding on Sept. 7. Then, otherwise comprehending people seemed not to understand what they had heard. The plaintiffs, a coalition of municipalities and education organizations, had sued for billions in new state spending but did not get it. They nevertheless declared victory.Disclosure: I knew Moukawsher well when he was a banking lobbyist, during his one term in the legislature and for several years after that. I have not spoken to him in nearly 20 years.The organizations in the coalition have maintained an indecent silence on what the decision says about providing an education for 15 percent to 17 percent of public school students with special needs. The reader will struggle to find an island of thought in the decision’s sea of bilge, but there is one on the subject of people with disabilities: It is irrational and unconstitutional, Moukawsher declaimed from the bench, to continue to provide an eduction for many of them.The 20th century taught us that when societies turn on people with disabilities, they often do not stop there. They inflict misery on others and everlasting shame on themselves. Connecticut must not join them in the darkness.If you want to know what an attack on freedom under the rule of law looks like, peruse the education funding decision. Special education was not an issue the plaintiffs raised. The attorney general, defending the state, warnedA MUST READ - Kevin Rennie: Judge Decides Disabled Kids Not Worth Teaching - Wait What?:
Connecticut Attorney General Jepsen to appeal CCJEF v. Rell ruling
Claiming that the State of Connecticut “far exceeds” what it needs to spend on public education, Attorney General George Jepsen announced today that he will appeal the recent court decision in the CCJEF v. Rell school funding lawsuit.
While Connecticut Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled Connecticut’s school funding program was irrational and unconstitutional, the judge went far afield of the actual case, using his decision to condemn Connecticut’s teachers and public schools and promoting his own version of a corporate education reform agenda.
An appeal will mean Connecticut’s Supreme Court will eventually weigh in on the ruling and confirm whether Connecticut’s elected officials must finally address Connecticut’s broken school funding formula.
The following is Attorney General Jepsen’s statement;
Statement from AG Jepsen on Next Steps in CCJEF v. RellAttorney 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 ofConnecticut 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.”
More about this development and previous media coverage via links below:
CCJEF V. RELL MEDIA COVERAGE
9/12/16 – For David Rosen, 11 years in court just a beginning in school case (New Haven Independent)
9/11/16 – Wendy Lecker: Will equity without adequacy be enough to help Connecticut’s neediest children?
New York Times
9/12/16 – A Holistic Ruling on Broken Schools
Links to the actual decision
Judicial Department – http://jud.ct.gov/CCJEFvRell.pdf
CCM – CCM INITIAL STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO SUPERIOR COURT DECISION IN CCJEF V. RELL SCHOOL-FUNDING DECISION
Educators 4 Excellence – Educators 4 Excellence-Connecticut reacts to ruling of CCJEF v. Rell lawsuit