After waiting six years, the parents and children in eight NY, high poverty, low wealth school districts will finally get their day in court. The plaintiffs in Maisto v. New York – known as the “Small Cities” case – are challenging New York’s persistent failure to provide sufficient teachers, curriculum, reasonable class sizes, interventions for at-risk students, and other resources deemed essential for a sound basic education under the NY Constitution. The eight Small Cities districts are Jamestown, Kingston, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Port Jervis, Poughkeepsie and Utica.
Last month, the case was assigned to a new Judge, and a new trial date was selected.
Judge Kimberly A. O’Connor has set January 21, 2015, as the date for the start of trial in the New York State Supreme Court in Albany. William Reynolds of Albany-based Bond, Schoeneck and King is lead trial counsel. David Sciarra and Wendy Lecker of Education Law Center are serving as co-counsel, along with Gregory Little of the White and Case firm. Megan Mercy, associate counsel at NY State United Teachers (NYSUT), is also on the trial team.
The outcome of this trial will not only impact the 55,000 students in these eight high need districts, but could well affect similarly situated students in resource-starved districts across the state and in New York City.
Education Law Center prepared this primer with answers to frequently asked questions about the Small Cities case.
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