June 27, 2017
The Education Law Center welcomes today’s ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in Aristy-Farer v. State/NYSER v. State, a legal challenge to inadequate school funding. In allowing the case to proceed to trial, New York’s highest court reaffirmed the State’s obligation to provide every child in New York with the opportunity for a constitutionally sound basic education, as established in the Court’s landmark 2003 Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State decision.
The Court of Appeals also reaffirmed the judiciary’s central role in assessing, on a district-by-district basis, whether the State has met that obligation “even if the State’s system overall is designed to provide a sound basic education.” To that end, the Court further held that New York’s failure to fully fund the 2007 foundation aid formula can be evidence of the State’s constitutional failures.
This ruling will also inform the pending appeal in Maisto v. State, a challenge to inadequate funding in New York’s small city school districts. The trial court’s decision in Maisto is now before the Appellate Division, Third Department.
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