Friday
October 27, 2017


 

 

 

Appeals court upholds Campaign for Fiscal Equality in small cities school funding case

ALBANY – The Appellate Division Third Department of State Supreme Court has reversed a trial judge’s ruling, which dismissed a challenge to inadequate school funding for students in eight small cities school districts – Kingston, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Port Jervis, Poughkeepsie, Jamestown, Niagara Falls and Utica.

The appeals court said the trial court must examine the evidence regarding deficiencies in essential education resources, or inputs, student performance, or outcomes, and whether a lack of funding is a causal factor in resource deficits and low outcomes.

The appeals court remanded the case to trial court for specific findings on inputs and causation for each of the eight districts.

On remand, the Appellate Division said the trial court must consider a broad range of inputs necessary for a sound basic education, including not only teachers and instrumentalities of learning, but also class size and supplemental services, such as academic intervention services, extended learning opportunities and social workers.

The decision also said the proper standard for establishing causation on remand is whether the plaintiffs showed that increased funding can provide inputs that yield better student performance, evidence the state’s own experts conceded for every district.

Greg Little, Education Law Center’s chief trial counsel and lead counsel in this case, said this ruling is “a great victory for the 55,000 children in the eight districts, and for children across New York State.”

 


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