A federal judge dismissed most claims in a lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s restrictions on magnet schools, charter schools, and school choice programs, saying there is no fundamental right to equal education opportunity under the U.S. Constitution.
A group of parents and students sued state officials in 2016, saying the restrictions are unconstitutional and have forced thousands of low-income and minority students to attend low-performing public schools. The parents say they tried to enroll their children in magnet and charter schools, but were rejected.
At issue are state laws that place a moratorium on new magnet schools, prevent public charter schools from opening or expanding, and penalize school districts that accept students under a state inter-district school choice program.
In a Sept. 28 ruling, U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson in Hartford dismissed six of seven claims. The remaining claim alleges state officials have abdicated their constitutional duty to safeguard citizens’ civil rights. Thompson gave state officials time to file a motion to dismiss that allegation.
A version of this article appeared in the October 10, 2018 edition of Education Week as Federal Judge Dismisses Most Claims in Connecticut School Choice Lawsuit