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Courts must demand state education equity

Tom Clark New London

Publication: The Day

Published 04/19/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 04/18/2013 05:12 PM

The April 14 Day editorial "Court shouldn't set school funding policy," is actually a crystal clear example of why the courts really do need to force change on this.

A shameful disparity in educational opportunity divides the wealthy suburbs from the cities in our state and our region.

The disparity of education opportunity continues largely because policy makers choose to turn away rather than act, except when forced by court decisions such as Sheff v. O'Neill. In that case the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the state must provide all children equal educational opportunity, regardless of their street address.

All of the progress on this, meager as it seems, has been forced by court intervention. The courts recognized the shameful nature of an apathetic legislature turning away from a vast disparity of opportunity. After the ruling, charter and magnet schools were developed as a partial remedy.

Yet, The Day editorial fails even to use the words that have come to define the issue: disparity of educational opportunity. It glosses over the problem and is clear evidence of a status quo that continues to ignore a horrible waste of our precious children. The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding should submit a copy as evidence in the pending case.

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