The Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York

A brief history of CFE v. State

In 1978, a group of property-poor Long Island school districts, joined by New York City and the other four large urban New York districts, filed Levittown v. Nyquist, a lawsuit challenging the state’s education finance system. In its 1982 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that while substantial inequities in funding did exist, the New York State constitution does not require equal funding for education. The court did note, however, that the state constitution entitles students to a "sound basic education," even though no one in the Levittown case had alleged that students were being denied this right. read more

What is the legacy of CFE v. State?
In 1993, CFE filed a constitutional challenge to New York State's school finance system, claiming that it underfunded New York City's public schools and denied its students their constitutional right to the opportunity to a sound basic education. In 2003, the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled in favor of CFE and ordered the State to undertake sweeping reforms. Even though the original lawsuit was filed on behalf of New York City's 1.1 million public schoolchildren, the remedies the courts have mandated apply to the entire state. read more

Year-by-year chronology  (Printer Friendly Version)
       Español: Cronología de la Demanda (Versión para imprimir)  

Full text of key court decisions

CFE v. State Documents (1993 - to the June 2003 Court of Appeals' Order)

CFE v. State Compliance Documents (August 2004 - present)


The Road to a Sound Basic Education:

Court Victories

November 20 , 2006: State Court of Appeals
Court order (pdf)

March 23, 2006: The Appellate Division, 1st Department
Court order (pdf)

March 15, 2005: Justice DeGrasse of State Supreme Court
Final order (pdf)
Final Report and Recommendations of the Special Referees
Briefs and testimony submitted to the courts
Court proceedings on the report of the special referees