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Campaign for Fiscal Equity
 

June 26, 2003 Court of Appeals Decision


On June 26, 2003, in a 4-1 decision, the Court of Appeals overturned the Appellate Division ruling. The Court rejected the 8th grade standard, noting that a "high school education is now all but indispensable" to prepare students for employment and civic engagement.

The Court of Appeals held that a "sound basic education," as guaranteed by the New York State constitution, requires that all students have the "opportunity for a meaningful high school education, one which prepares them to function productively as civic participants."

The Court found the following of central importance in providing students with the opportunity for a sound basic education:

  1. High-quality teaching,
  2. Small class sizes, and
  3. Adequate instrumentalities of learning, such as classroom supplies, textbooks, libraries and computers.

The Court issued the following three-part remedy:

  1. The State must determine the actual costs of providing a sound basic education in New York City;
  2. The State must reform the funding system to ensure that every school in New York City has the resources necessary for providing the opportunity for a sound basic education;
  3. The State must establish a comprehensive accountability system that will ensure that the reforms implemented actually provide this opportunity.

The State had until July 30, 2004 to implement the Court's order.


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 >