State education officials served with parent lawsuit alleging constitutional violation of students’ education and civil rights
- Published: Monday, 09 September 2019 13:43
BOSTON – As students all over Massachusetts begin yet another school year in underfunded schools, state education officials and the state board of education have been served with a complaint and summons in a lawsuit alleging constitutional violations of students’ education and civil rights as a result of the state’s inadequate school funding system.
“This month, students in low-income urban and rural communities across the state are returning to schools that have been deeply underfunded for these students’ entire lives,” said Maureen Colgan Posner, a Springfield teacher and member of the Council for Fair School Finance, which is backing the lawsuit. “As legislators return to work with public education funding still on their to-do list, we cannot wait any longer to see if they will fix the racial, economic and geographic disparities that continue to harm the students that my colleagues and I teach.”
More than a dozen children and their parents from Chelsea, Chicopee, Fall River, Haverhill, Lowell, Orange, and Springfield, as well as the New England Area Conference of the NAACP and the Chelsea Collaborative, whose members include parents and students in those seven underfunded school districts, filed the lawsuit — Mussotte v. Peyser — in June in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of ignoring the constitutional mandate requiring the Commonwealth to fund a quality education for all students.