Families Take Fight for Quality Education to Federal Court

Martinez v. Malloy Student Plaintiffs Jaidyn (left) and Jorr (right) with Their Mom, Parent Plaintiff Dahlia Bryan – See more at: http://studentsmatter.org/case/martinez/#sthash.AZlo5cf7.dpuf
Martinez v. Malloy Student Plaintiffs Jaidyn (left) and Jorr (right) with Their Mom, Parent Plaintiff Dahlia Bryan

To accelerate progress for students, advocates sometimes turn to the courts. In 2016, parents from Bridgeport and Hartford did just that by filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of their children to ensure that all kids have equal access to a quality education. The lawsuit, Martinez v. Malloy, was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and is sponsored by Students Matter, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting access to quality public education through impact litigation. ConnCAN is a partner in this lawsuit.

The lead plaintiff, Jessica Martinez, is one of 11 plaintiffs who have tried for years to enroll their children in one of Connecticut’s quality public schools of choice, but were denied by what the lawsuit calls “anti-opportunity” state policies. Martinez is the mother of a student who attends John Winthrop School (Bridgeport), where only about 2 in 5 students met or exceeded state achievement standards in English Language Arts on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and only about 1 in 5 students met or exceeded the state achievement standards in math.

“You make it possible to provide free, clear data and information and tools to raise awareness of the state of education and empower communities to make change. The Martinez plaintiffs cited ConnCAN research throughout their complaint.”

ConnCAN’s support was critical to launching this lawsuit, which seeks to address our state’s inequitable access to quality public schools and establish students right to a quality education. We stand with the plaintiffs and their families to overturn barriers to great schools, and we could not have done so without your help.  

To learn more about the “anti-opportunity” laws being challenged and how you’ve helped us support the legal fight for equal access to a quality education, click on the links below: