Aug 14 2017

Campaign for Fiscal Equity – Alliance for Quality Education of New York #lawsuit #settlement #funding


Campaign for Fiscal Equity

2016 marks the tenth year since New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) school funding lawsuit. The CFE lawsuit was brought by parents against the State of New York claiming that children were not being provided an opportunity to an adequate education. In 2006, the NYS Court of Appeals ruled in CFE’s favor and found that New York State is violating students constitutional right to a sound and basic education by leaving schools without the funding necessary. Schools were ordered to receive $5.5 billion increase in basic operating aid (also known as Foundation Aid) statewide over the course of a four year phase-in from 2007 to 2011.

Foundation Aid Formula

The formula (created in response to the CFE case) distributes aid based on student need and accounts for the ability of the school district or city to raise money from local property taxes. It was intended to close the spending gap between districts and create an equitable education system for all students.

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity Timeline:

  • 1993: A group of parents from New York City launched the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), which sued New York State for failing to provide students with the quality education that is their right under the New York State Constitution.
  • 2003: Parents and advocates walked 150 miles from New York City to Albany for the start of hearings in NYS highest court.
  • 2006: The New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the state was failing to provide students with the classroom resources necessary to receive the “sound basic education.”
  • 2007-2009: The state adopted the Foundation Aid formula and committed to adding $5.5 billion in basic classroom operating aid over 4 years to all state school districts. The state allocated $2.3 billion to schools in Foundation Aid as the phase-in began, resulting in a much-needed expansion of programs and services at many schools.
  • 2009-2012: During the fiscal crisis, the state froze funding for the Foundation Aid formula, ending the commitment to a four-year phase-in of CFE. During the recession, $2.7 billion was cut from school aid, including over $2.1 billion in classroom cuts, in effect reversing CFE.
  • 2012-2015: The state has made incremental increases to education funding, but is still far from fulfilling the promise of CFE.
  • Today, Foundation Aid levels remain much lower than the CFE recommendation. Schools are still owed $3.9 billion in Foundation Aid, most of which is owed to districts with high percentages of black and brown students.

Small Cities Lawsuit

  • 2015: A follow-up lawsuit involving eight small cities called Maisto v. State of New York, aka the Small Cities Lawsuit, was heard in court in Albany. The case involves: Niagara Falls, Jamestown, Utica, Kingston, Port Jervis, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Mount Vernon. The districts are now awaiting appeal.
  • To read more about the Small Cities Lawsuit, click here.


March Endorsers

Black Lives Matter Buffalo
Bronx Community Council
Bronx Educators United for Justice
Citizen Action of New York
Class Size Matters
Coalition for Educational Justice
Community Food Advocates
El Puente
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Hartwick College Education Program
Hastings Teachers Association
Jackson Heights People for Public Schools
Long Island Progressive Coalition
Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition
Make the Road New York
Metro Justice
Network for Public Education
New York Communities for Change
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Peace Coalition (Peace December)
New York State Allies for Public Education
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
South Bronx Community Congress
The Badass Teachers Association
The Power of Ten
Vocal NY
Young Invincibles
Upstate & Updated
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
SBK Social Justice Center Inc
End New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN)
Public School Watchdogs
Coalition for Economic Justice
Hudson Valley Progressives
Opportunity Action
Brooklyn Arbor Parents’ Association
YWCA Ulster County and Grils Inc. Ulster and Dutchess Counties
Buffalo Anti-Racism Coalition
Buffalo Teachers Federation
Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization
Teens In Progress
Long Island Together
Parents for Equity and Power
Community Voices Heard
Justice League NYC
Central Park East II PA
The Gathering for Justice
Save Our Schools
Open Buffalo
Partnership for the Public Good
CWA Local 1133
AAUW Kingston
First Unitarian Schools Partnership
Green Party of New York
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
The Black Institute
Western New York Book Arts Center
CEPA Gallery
Just Buffalo Literary Center
The Children’s Sangha
Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center
DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving
Hispanic Federation
Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.
New Feminists for Justice
Parents for Public Schools of Syracuse
Syracuse Teachers Association
CNY Solidarity Coalition
New York Civil Liberties Union
F.A.C.E.S. of Nottingham: Families, Alumni, Community, Educators and Students Nottingham High School’s Parent/Family-Teacher-Student-Organization
SUNY Onondaga Community College Federation of Teachers and Administrators (OCCFTA) NYSUT Local 1845
Green Party of Brooklyn
Center For Creative Education
Kingston Teachers’ Federation
NY Progressive Action Network
Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan
Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance
Granny Peace Brigade NYC
JT Roberts PTO
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse
Change the Stakes
NYC Opt Out
Center for Community Alternatives
Girls for Gender Equity
Mid-Hudson Jews for Racial Justice
Parents for Middle School Equity
The Earth School
The Cobble Hill Think Tank
North Country Peace Group
Dutchess County Progessive Action Alliance
ECE PolicyWorks
Harrison Association of Teachers
Traveling Stories
Education Opportunity Network
Children Are More Than Test Scores
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Teachers Unite
Justin Sanchez for City Council
Coalition for Public Education (CPE)
Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School
Action Together Rochester
Brooklyn Artful Dodgers
Advocates for Justice
Stand Up for Public Schools
PS 705 PTA
Teen Empowerment
Schott Foundation
Journey for Justice Alliance
Lyncourt School
Rockland United
Glens Falls Teachers Association
Power 4 Equity and Power
The Dragonfly Institute
Buffalo Educational Support team
Resource Center for Accessible Living, Inc.
Mid-Hudson Advocates for Single Payer
Principal Residency Network
Pulaski Teachers’ Association
Big Apple Coffee Party
Women’s March

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