Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State
New York Court of Appeals
861 N.E.2d 50 (2006)
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a not-for-profit corporation, individual students who attended New York City public schools, and the students’ parents (plaintiffs) sought a declaratory judgment against New York State and various state and educational officials (defendants). The challengers wanted the court to determine whether the state’s public-school financing system violated the Education Article of the New York State Constitution because children in New York City public schools were not receiving a sound, basic education. The court agreed, declaring that public-school students in New York City were not receiving a sound, basic education. The court directed the state to reform the public-school financing system so that every school in New York City would have the resources it needed, and it ordered the trial court to determine whether the state’s estimate of the cost was reasonable. Following the creation of a state commission on education reform and extensive review of pertinent research literature, the State Education Reform Plan (plan) proposed by the governor concluded that funding for the New York City School District should include additional annual operating funds in the amount of $1.93 billion. Legislation incorporating the plan’s methodology was never enacted. The trial court provided a panel of referees with a mandate to make recommendations regarding which compliance proposal to adopt, and the court then confirmed the referees’ report. The appeals court held that it was error to confirm the referees’ report instead of the state’s proposed calculation. The matter was appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pigott, J.)
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