A recent education decision by Hartford Superior Court is an important one for all of us even though its highly significant consequences are not likely to be felt for some years. The decision came after a decade of trial-level work and extensive testimony by many educators and others from across our state in agonizing specifics about the glaring extremes in Connecticut schools\u2019 performance. The decision notes that while many of our schools statewide are performing very well (some among the top in the nation, like our own Wilton school system), the fact is that for some school districts the opposite is true: they are at the very bottom of the educational adequacy spectrum nationwide. In fact, the superintendent of Bridgeport schools testified that a \u201cfunctionally illiterate person could get a Bridgeport high school diploma.\u201d Based on this kind of evidence, the court found that \u201cConnecticut is defaulting on its constitutional duty to provide adequate public school opportunities.\u201d Our state\u2019s attorney general has announced that the state is appealing this decision not as to its conclusion concerning gross educational disparities but rather to contest the court\u2019s right to establish the system by which the necessary steps to educational adequacy for all students will be financed and implemented. The state will urge upon the Connecticut Supreme Court, during its recently announced expedited appeal of this case, that the matter of financing is a legislative one that should not be usurped by the courts. Whatever the final decision is on who establishes the funding methodology, the key question is this: How will our state address meeting the need? While the disparities in educational adequacy are glaring, the method for fixing the situation is far from clear. For example, will the state undertake the burden of equalizing educational funding itself? If so, how will it accomplish the funding of those additional educational expenses: by cutting back other state budget lines or by expanding deficits? Or will it decide to levy upon some of the real and personal property tax revenues (or to levy upon their underlying sources) to, in effect, take from one municipality and give to another? The fundamental challenge in all of this is to improve the schools clearly in desperate need of it without dropping down the other, well-performing schools in the process. If the appellate court\u2019s decision leaves funding decisions entirely to the legislature as seems likely, those funding decisions are likely to be far in the future as the legislature wrestles over how to make educational adequacy a reality across our state. Meanwhile, we need to assure that our Wilton schools remain as strong as possible to withstand whatever the long-term future may hold. On the local scene, at the annual town meeting time this past May, the Board of Education and the Board of Finance agreed to confer starting right then on the coming year\u2019s school budget so that our town would not have another cliffhanging budget-time next spring. So what has happened since this past May in furtherance of that objective? Apparently there have been a number of discussions but unfortunately not much agreement. The BOF recently presented its pronouncement as to what the bogey (Budget Obligations Governing Execution Year) should be for this coming fiscal year\u2019s budget, and the BOE does not agree with the BOF\u2019s school-budget reduction objective. So it sadly sounds like another year of business as usual in terms of last-minute budget battles, though maybe we can hope that the two boards\u2019 discussions will proceed vigorously even now, not be deferred until the last minute (again). The BOF\u2019s elimination of the state-subsidy line item in creating its bogey for this coming year seems misplaced given how long the educational adequacy funding issue is likely to take to be resolved. Moreover, no account seems to have been taken of the $900,000 in funds that were bonded but are not needed because of the way the Comstock rebuild came in under budget. Those funds might usefully be applied to further reduce the Miller-Driscoll rebuild bonding, which has already been much reduced by the very successful construction-bidding results. For towns like ours, educational excellence is the prime driver of real property values and other indicia of economic health; it\u2019s why families with young kids want to come here. We have every interest as a town in seeing that we do all that we need to assure that our schools\u2019 excellence continues. Depending upon what the appellate court decides, that issue may eventually become a lot more complicated for all of us.