A state appeals court unanimously reversed a trial judge’s 2016 ruling that had dismissed the Maisto v. New York case, which is also known as the small cities lawsuit that accused the state of under-funding eight school districts in small cities, including Jamestown.
At issue is state funding, which the small schools argue falls short of what they need to provide the sound, basic education guaranteed by the state constitution.
Last fall, Albany County State Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor had ruled against the schools without considering the evidence they supplied that the state had failed to provide adequate financial aid.
The appeals course on Thursday sends the case back to trial court for review of evidence presented, but not considered, during the trial, including resource deficiencies, student performance, and outcomes.
The plaintiffs in the Maisto case are parents and students from Jamestown, Utica, Kingston, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Port Jervis and Poughkeepsie.