New York top court orders more NYC school funding to meet constitutional standard

[JURIST] The New York State Court of Appeals [official website] ruled Monday that the state must spend about $2 billion more per year to provide children in the New York City public school system [official website] with "a sound basic education" guaranteed by the state constitution [text]. In a 4-2 decision [opinion, PDF], the state's highest court embraced as "reasonable" the findings of a commission that recommended [press release] spending an additional $1.93 billion per year. The court deferred to the legislature and the governor to set the exact amount of the increase.

The decision ends 13 years of litigation [CFE backgrounder] by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which said in a press release [text] today that the court "reaffirmed the state's responsibility to increase funding for New York City's public schools." Still, the CFE described the $1.93 billion figure as "insufficient" while expressing hope that legislators and Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer (D) [campaign website; JURIST news archive], the former state attorney general, would "come through with the right amount of funding." Spitzer has advocated an increase as high as $6 billion. The New York Times has more. AP has additional coverage.

 

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