NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED573136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Students' Constitutional Right to a Sound Basic Education: New York State's Unfinished Agenda. Part 4. Ensuring Resource Accountability
Wolff, Jessica R.; Rebell, Michael A.; Rogers, Joseph R., Jr.
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University
This is the fourth in a series of reports that are the culmination of two years of research by the Campaign for Educational Equity, a policy and research center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and significant input from the Safeguarding Sound Basic Education Task Force, a statewide group made up of representatives from New York's leading statewide education associations, parent organizations, school business officials, and advocacy groups. In 2003, New York State's highest court ruled in "Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York" that the state's school-funding system violated students' rights under the education article of the state constitution. It held that New York City's 1.1 million public school students were being denied sufficient funding to provide them the "opportunity for a sound basic education." The court ordered the state to remedy this violation of students' rights. It directed the state government to take three actions: (1) determine the actual cost of providing a sound basic education; (2) reform the system of school funding and managing schools to ensure that all schools have the resources necessary to provide a constitutionally adequate education; and (3) develop "a new…system of accountability to measure whether the reforms actually provide the opportunity for a sound basic education." The "CFE" decision requires the state to ensure that "every school" has adequate resources to meet the needs of its students; therefore, accountability for a sound basic education must entail the assessment, monitoring, and enforcement of school-level resource adequacy. New York's current Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) policy development can help the state move toward compliance with the "CFE" decision and its promise of a meaningful educational opportunity for all New York children, as long as it is undertaken with careful attention to the court's rulings. This report provides analysis and recommendations to help ensure that the state's ESSA planning aligns with requirements of "CFE" and the education article of the state constitution. The report provides additional context for the discussion of resource accountability by describing the legal context and background of "CFE" and situating the discussion within a broader set of policies New York needs to adopt to guarantee students' educational rights and comply with the "CFE" decision. The report describes the contemporary education-accountability context under ESSA, details recommendations for a constitutional education-accountability system to guarantee adequate resources in every New York school, and highlights data-collection and accountability-system precedents from several other states that New York could adapt to satisfy its unique sound-basic-education accountability needs. [For Part 1, see "A Roadmap to Constitutional Compliance Ten Years after 'CFE v. State'" (ED573134). For Part 2, see "Filling the Regulatory Gaps" (ED573133). For Part 3, see "Utilizing a Constitutional Cost Methodology" (ED573135).]
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University. Box 219, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 646-745-8282; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Booth Ferris Foundation; Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Campaign for Educational Equity
Identifiers - Location: New York; New York (New York)