Connecticut's Budget Cuts Now Snarled in Legal Battle
The Connecticut teachers' union and several school districts are mobilizing legally to block a series of Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget cuts from going into effect.
The state's legislature and governor are in a stalemate over how to distribute millions of dollars to its schools. The state's supreme court is currently hearing arguments in case in which a coalition of advocacy groups argue that the state's funding formula only worsens achievement gaps between poor and wealthier students.
Malloy last week signed an executive order that kept some state agencies and school districts afloat, but also prevented $557 million in state funds from being distributed to school districts. The state's attorney general has not determined whether the executive order is legal.
The union on Monday sought a court order to block Malloy's move from going into effect.
"The governor's ... cuts are dangerous and would be devastating for students, parents, teachers, and communities across the state," Connecticut Education Association President Sheila Cohen said in a statement. "They violate state statutes and the state's constitutional obligation to provide adequate education to public school students. Now that severe cuts are being implemented, we must take action to prevent the potential downward spiral that could further push our schools into chaos."
Several school districts are expected to join the suit.
On Wednesday, Malloy responded to the suit by saying that the union's actions may be premature.The cuts won't come until the end of October and the state's lawmakers could reach a budget agreement before then, he said.