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Campaign for Fiscal Equity
 

Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, et al., urges court to protect the rights of minorities under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by upholding Judge DeGrasse's decision

The Amici Curiae Brief, submitted on September 5, 2001 by the Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, State Assemblymember James F. Brennan, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Public Advocate Mark Green, New York City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, New York City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, New York City Councilwoman Helen M. Marshall, and Michael Bloomberg, strongly urged the court to uphold Judge De Grasse's January decision in CFE v. State.

In their brief they cited three reasons why the court should affirm the decision. First, the Supreme Court's recent decision in Alexander v. Sandoval, which precludes individual plaintiffs from bringing cases under Title VI disparate impact regulations, does not prevent the plaintiffs from enforcing their Title VI implementing regulation claim through 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Supreme Court opinion only addresses one question: whether a private right of action (the right of individuals to sue) exists to enforce Title VI's implementing regulations, and it did not read the § 1983 issue. Therefore the case cannot be used to prevent a private right of action to enforce Title VI through § 1983, which has been long established.

Second, that the decision allowing allocation of state aid to New York City public schools violates Title VI's implementing regulations is correct. Evidence submitted clearly indicated that the convoluted funding scheme the state uses to allocate funds has a disparate impact on minority children and, as a result, violates the constitutional right of "all the children of this state" to receive a sound, basic education.

Third, the remedy proscribed by Judge De Grasse is necessary and appropriate to redress the racial inequities in New York State's public finance scheme. Since only the courts have the ability to protect the rights of minority groups and they are bound to enforce federal civil rights statutes, and especially since the Legislature and Executive offices have been unable to remedy the situation, the court was correct in its assessment that this case demands judicial intervention.

For the above reasons, the brief urged the Appellate Division to uphold Judge De Grasse's decision under both State constitution and the Department of Education's implementing regulations for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Congressman Charles B. Rangel
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
State Assemblymember James F. Brennan
Bronx Borough Presindent Fernando Ferrer
Public Advocate Mark Green
New York City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi
New York City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone
Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields
New York City Councilwoman Helen M. Marshall
Michael Bloomberg


Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >