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Massachusetts Hancock v. Driscoll Adequacy Trial Underway

Ten years after the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court's decision in favor of plaintiffs in McDuffy v. Secretary, trial began June 12, 2003 in Hancock v. Driscoll, a case in which student plaintiffs from 19 school districts claim that they are not yet receiving the standard of education required by the state constitution.

Rooted in the educational rights articulated in the McDuffy decision, plaintiffs Motion for Further Relief, filed in 1999, and subsequent legal proceedings have led to the determination that the trial court will rely on the state's own curriculum standards to judge the constitutionality of the education being provided to the plaintiff students. Educational essentials that plaintiffs allege are inadequate include quality teaching, appropriate class sizes, programs for low-income and ELL students, and up-to-date technology. Plaintiffs also claim that the state has not established an accountability system, as required by McDuffy.

The trial is expected to last into the Fall. For brief summaries of day-to-day testimony, see the Council for Fair School Finance website.

Prepared June 15, 2003