Earlier this month, the Torrington City Council voted to join a lawsuit that will seek to enjoin Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy from cutting over $500 million in education funding to cities across the state. The lawsuit, being organized by the Connecticut Education Association, will challenge Governor Malloy’s recent executive order cutting education funding in response to the state legislature’s failure to pass a budget. Torrington stands to lose nearly $20 million in education funds previously provided by the state’s Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula. Torrington officials say that the governor’s ECS cuts violate the state’s constitutional obligation to provide an adequate education to public school students. Due to its high poverty rate, Torrington will not be able to make up for the loss in state funds by raising local taxes, according to Mayor Elinor Carbone. The cost of the budget reductions will consequently fall on students and teachers in the form of diminished essential school services. More students and teachers may join the lawsuit in coming weeks, and plaintiffs plan to file the case within the month.
Meanwhile, oral argument in the appeal of the trial court’s order requiring substantial reforms of Connecticut’s education finance system and other aspects of the education system took place before the Connecticut Supreme Court on September 28. A decision will probably not be rendered for several months.