Horton v. Meskill
Connecticut Supreme Court
376 A.2d 359 (1977)
Three students (plaintiffs) who were enrolled in free, public elementary and secondary schools in the town of Canton, Connecticut, brought consolidated actions against various state and town administrative officials, including the state governor (administrative officials) (defendants). The students sought a declaratory judgment to determine whether Connecticut’s educational finance system provided free, public elementary and secondary school educations as required by the state constitution’s guarantee of equal rights and equal protection. The students argued that using property values and property taxes as the basis for funding the state educational finance system was irrational and irrelevant, in violation of the students’ fundamental rights to education and equal protection of the laws. The trial court concluded that state legislation enacting the finance system for public education violated the Connecticut Constitution because the system delegated to the town of Canton the duty to raise taxes to operate free public elementary and secondary schools as well as the duty to operate and maintain those schools. The administrative officials appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (House, C.J.)
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