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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Jun 6, 2006

CFE Asks Highest Court to Issue Enforceable Order To End State's Violation of Constitution

Organization Asks Court to Issue Enforceable Order Bringing CFE Case to a Close

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) filed a brief to the Court of Appeals this afternoon that asks the court to issue a clear and enforceable order that would bring the long-running CFE school-funding case to a close. A powerful decision from the state’s highest court could force the State to add billions in additional education dollars and major accountability reforms or face possible penalties. The court’s order is expected this fall.

“The State has been under an order from the Court of Appeals for three years to increase school funding, fairly distribute it, and measure results, and they have not fully complied,” said CFE Executive Director Geri D. Palast. “We’ve asked this court to issue an enforceable final order to ensure that Albany lawmakers abide by the constitution and take necessary steps to provide the resources for a meaningful high school education for New York’s schoolchildren during the next legislative session.”

In its brief, CFE urged the court to affirm an order from an appellate court that requires the governor and the legislature to add between $4.7 billion and $5.63 billion in operating aid, phased in over four years, to New York City’s schools. The brief also called on the highest court to order strong accountability measures to ensure that when additional dollars begin to flow they are spent in ways that make a difference in the lives of the children who need them most.

The brief filed by CFE today is part of the latest appeal in the CFE case and will set the stage for the Court of Appeals to evaluate the State’s noncompliance.

In its 2003 order, the Court of Appeals mandated extensive reforms to the school finance system to ensure every New York child a meaningful high school education. The State added substantial increases to fund capital construction costs this year but failed to budget the operating aid dollars and accountability reforms the city needs to run schools effectively. CFE filed its appeal to the Court of Appeals in April to ensure full compliance.

The State is scheduled to submit its opening and reply briefs on July 11. Both CFE and the State will file follow-up briefs in August. The court is expected to set down oral arguments for September.

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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 >