Sheff v. O'Neill, 238 Conn. 1, 678 A.2d 1267 (Conn. 1996).
Plaintiffs, children in the school district of the City of Hartford, claimed that the state’s school districting scheme, which placed district lines at town boundaries, resulted in racial and ethnic isolation and failed to provide them with the resources necessary to obtain a minimally adequate education, and therefore violated their rights under the equal protection and education clauses of the state constitution. The Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that the state’s system deprived those children of their rights to substantially equal educational opportunity, and that the state legislature was required to take affirmative responsibility to remedy segregation in the public schools, regardless of whether that segregation had occurred de jure or de facto. The Court also determined that the claim regarding a minimally adequate education did not implicate the constitutional right to a substantially equal educational opportunity, and found that it unnecessary to reach the merits of this claim under the education clause of the constitution.
Horton v. Meskill, 172 Conn. 615, 376 A.2d 359 (Conn. 1977).
The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the state’s school finance system, which was dependent primarily on the local tax base without regard to disparity in districts’ financial ability to finance an educational program and with no significant equalizing state support, violated the state constitution, as it was not "appropriate legislation" implementing the constitutional requirement that the state provide a substantially equal educational opportunity to its youth in its free public elementary and secondary schools.