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