Stratford joins lawsuit to stop Malloy executive order


Stratford Public Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson speaks during a Tuesday press conference about how badly Stratford schools would be hurt by Gov. Malloy’s executive order. — Melvin Mason photo

Stratford will join a lawsuit filed by the state’s largest teachers’ union that will attempt to block Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order and its potential impact on state Education Cost Sharing funds.

Town councilors voted unanimously at Tuesday’s regular meeting to join the lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Education Association. The CEA’s legal challenge seeks “a temporary or permanent injunction or other legal decision” that would stop Malloy’s executive order from going into effect. The order would cut more than $557 million in education funding statewide, according to a CEA statement on the organization’s website.

Torrington and the towns of Brooklyn, Conn. and Plainfield have already joined as plaintiffs.

Stratford stands to lose more than $21 million in state education funding dollars, which Board of Education officials said would result in deep cuts to programs and even the possible closure of a school.

The town will not be financially responsible in the CEA litigation.

“The governor’s ECS cuts are dangerous and would be devastating for students, parents, teachers, and communities across the state,” CEA President Sheila Cohen said in a statement. “They violate state statutes and the state’s constitutional obligation to provide adequate education to public school students. Now that severe cuts are being implemented, we must take action to prevent the potential downward spiral that could further push our schools into chaos.”

Stratford Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson stood with Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday in urging Democrats in the General Assembly to override Malloy’s veto of a $40.68-billion two-year state budget.  

“How does the town of Stratford make up for that when we have so many students who really need the services to be able to pursue their education in the best possible fashion?” Robinson said.

Robinson said Tuesday that all of the planned state cuts would add up to about $27 million.

“This executive order cannot continue. It’s really harmful for us,” Robinson said. “I continue talking and sending emails to folks saying, ‘Please reach some agreement’ and letting them know what harm this creates.”

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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