The State Court Appellate Division has ruled New York State violated the requirement of the State Constitution to provide the students in eight small city school districts, including Jamestown, with a sound basic education.
The Appellate Court unanimously reversed the Trial Court judge who had dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims and said the State must craft an appropriate plan to remedy this situation and such plan will be subject to further judicial review.
After a court fight of over twelve years, the Appellate Division in Albany held that at-risk students in the small city school districts were not able to provide services such as guidance counselors, social workers, English language teachers, tutorial programs, school psychologists, adequate school buildings, technology facilities and academic intervention services that their students required. The Appellate Court noted that as a result of the reductions in State aid to public school districts, these eight small city school districts lost a “combined total of 1.1 billion” in school aid during the years reviewed by the court.
This reduction in State educational funding necessitated these school districts to drastically cut staff and essential services.