Hartford, Connecticut (September 8, 2016) – Achieve Hartford! announced today it stands behind yesterday’s call by Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher for a complete – and long overdue – re-do on school financing in our state, which he correctly identified as riddled with policies “so befuddled or misdirected as to be irrational.”

Here is the Achieve Hartford! statement reinforcing the judge’s decision:

Yesterday, Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a ruling in the historic Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell case, in which the judge forcefully noted, “To keep its promise for adequate schools for all children, the state must rally more forcefully around troubled schools.  It can’t possibly help them while standing on the sideline imposing token statewide standards.”

“The judge’s decision and revealing footnotes indict the mindless momentum of the General Assembly as regards poor districts and schools,” Achieve Hartford Executive Director Paul Diego Holzer said today.  “The fact of the matter is that the legislature can no longer improperly kick the can down the road, as the judge concluded, through ‘misdirected and befuddled policies that allow rich school districts to flourish and poor districts to flounder’.

“Educating our neediest children is not the problem of our neediest cities; it’s a workforce issue for the entire state, regardless where you live in Connecticut,” Holzer emphasized.  “But while redistribution of funds is part of the solution, it is certainly not the only part.  We call on our Hartford delegation to not wait until the session begins to come together in consensus on how this ruling impacts Hartford students and to address the serious state education funding inequities and quality issues, so carefully laid out in this ruling.

“State and local government have a job to do.  That job has not been done when you look at the outcomes among so many Hartford students.  Now is the time to fix the way education is delivered in our neediest cities, notwithstanding the intense financial constraints.  We must ensure high quality teachers in every classroom and no longer allow grade school children to be denied the basics of reading and math, yet allow them to graduate nonetheless.  They need to be prepared for high school and post-secondary education both for their own futures and that of our region and State.  The truth is we know what we need to do, and now we must heed this mandate to do it, both through removing and changing policies that stand in the way and by revising the funding formula.”