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Safeguarding Sound Basic Education Project

In the tough economic times during the recent recession, New York, like most states around the country, substantially reduced funding for public education. Across-the-board budget cuts have had a devastating impact on the educational opportunities of students, particularly those from low-income households. Many schools around the state currently lack basic human and material resources they need to provide their students a sound basic education.
While the realities of fiscal constraint may require the state to ferret out waste and promote cost effectiveness, they do not permit the state to reduce essential educational services to public school students. The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, made clear in Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York that the state constitution entitles all students the opportunity for a sound basic education. This constitutional right cannot be put on hold because there is a recession or state budget deficit.
In April 2011, the Campaign for Educational Equity established the Safeguarding Sound Basic Education Project to help to protect New York students’ educational rights. Since that time, the Campaign has been conducting research, legal and policy analysis, and public engagement with the goal of producing new information, legal strategies, policy proposals, and advocacy tools to safeguard the right of New York students to a sound basic education.
Legal Background
Recommendations and Next Steps