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Good Outcome in Connecticut School Funding Case

In January, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an opinion reversing the lower court’s decision in CCJEF v. Rell. While this case focused on school funding, not disability, the lower court judge used this as an opportunity to attack special education, noting that children with “profound” disabilities have “minimal or no chance for education” and, therefore, schools “should not make expense, extensive, and ultimately pro-forma efforts” to provide them with a free appropriate public education. The State appealed the case and The Arc, with The Arc Connecticut, filed an amicus brief arguing that the lower court opinion violated the IDEA. Though it reversed on other grounds and did not substantively address special education in its opinion—other than noting that funding decisions relating to special education are best left to legislatures—it is a victory that the egregious language about students with disabilities in the lower court opinion no longer stands.