Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says it's premature for Connecticut's largest teachers' union to seek a court order to block him from cutting state education funding.
The Democrat said Wednesday that "under normal circumstances" the state isn't scheduled to award the grants until the end of October. State lawmakers are still hoping to reach a bipartisan two-year budget agreement before then.
Malloy says the Connecticut Education Association "would be hard-pressed" to say they have standing to seek a court injunction "any time before the check would otherwise go out."
CEA, municipal leaders, teachers, students and parents say they're filing a lawsuit at Hartford Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon, asking the court to stop $557 million in planned funding cuts to 157 municipalities.
The lawsuit was filed by the CEA, the city of Torrington, towns of Plainfield and Brooklyn, four teachers and a parent with two young children.
"I'm scared for my children and all the children in the state of Connecticut and the devastating effects it will have on the resources in their school system," said Louise Morrison, of Brooklyn.
"Left unchecked these cuts will cause chaos and the vast disruption, students teachers and our public schools," said Donald Williams, CEA executive director.
The lawsuit claims if state money is withheld, towns and cities will not be able to provide adequate education, students will be deprived of learning opportunities, and teachers will lose their jobs.
"The students are my first concern but as a newer teacher my position has been on the line year after year. Our education and the funding for our students shouldn't be used as collateral," said Michael McCotter, a Torrington teacher.
"Torrington is not a wealthy community we have significant poverty in our town and as a teacher I see it every single day. But they depend on the services of their school," said Veronica Gelormino, a Torrington teacher.
The lawsuit also calls out the state comptroller and treasurer as defendants. A CEA spokesperson said the city of Torrington received their first education check from the state last week for $1.2 million, compared to a check last year of $8 million.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.