MARIA PERIERA et al. v. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION et al., SC 18833

Judicial District of Waterbury at Waterbury

 

Education; Whether the State Board of Education Properly Dissolved and Reconstituted the Bridgeport Board of Education. The city of Bridgeport's school district has been designated a "low achieving district" as contemplated by General Statutes 10-223e (c) (1) for seven consecutive years. The school district has failed to meet standards established by both the state board of education and the No Child Left Behind Act, and Bridgeport schoolchildren have performed poorly on both the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. In July, 2011, the state board of education, acting on a resolution passed by a majority of the members of the Bridgeport board of education, exercised its power under General Statutes 10-223e (h) to authorize the commissioner of education to reconstitute the Bridgeport board of education. The commissioner of education dissolved the existing nine-member school board and established a new board made up of members appointed by the commissioner. Three lawsuits were brought to challenge the state board of education's action. Among the plaintiffs in the suits are displaced members of the dissolved Bridgeport board of education, parents of Bridgeport schoolchildren and people who had hoped to run for seats on the Bridgeport board of education in the November, 2011 municipal election. At the request of the parties to the three suits, the trial court reserved the following questions for the advice of the Supreme Court: "(1) Did the state board of education violate General Statutes 10-223e (h) in its decision to authorize the commissioner of education to reconstitute the Bridgeport board of education? (2) Does 10-223e (h) violate the home rule provision of article tenth, 1, of the state constitution? (3) Does 10-223e (h) violate the free suffrage provision of article sixth, 4, of the state constitution? (4) Does 10-223e (h) violate article first, 1, 4 and 20, of the state constitution? (5) Did the Bridgeport board of education have the legal power or authority to adopt a resolution requesting that the state board of education reconstitute the Bridgeport board of education?"

 

 

4