Courtroom Activity for Education Reform
September 29, 2017

Three courtroom cases could make a sizeable impact on the education landscape in specific states and the nation.

  • Connecticut: The State Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the appeal to CCJEF v. Rell. The lower court decision held that Connecticut’s funding system for schools was arbitrary, irrational, and unconstitutional. Advocacy organizations, like PIE Network member ConnCAN, are hopeful the court upholds the lower court ruling. ConnCAN CEO, Jen Alexander, issued this statement urging the Supreme Court to support children in the state by upholding the ruling.
  • Pennsylvania: Similarly, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an important ruling in an ongoing school funding case, calling for a trial on whether the state’s funding system violates the state’s Education Clause in their Constitution.  The lower court previously ruled the court did not have jurisdiction over the matter. The Supreme Court disagreed. PIE Network Member PennCAN is part of a coalition of advocacy organizations working to improve the state’s funding formula.
  • National: Finally, in what could have implications for advocates everywhere, the United State’s Supreme Court agreed to take up a case challenging mandatory union fees. This case—Janus v. AFSCME—is a repeat of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which went away quietly after the Supreme Court ruled a 4-4 split decision on the matter. With the addition of the country’s newest Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, many expect that mandatory fees will be ruled unconstitutional.  

Lukas Boehning

Lukas is PIE Network's Manager, Policy and Research

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