Safeguarding Students' Educational Rights

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Campaign for Educational Equity

Safeguarding Students' Educational Rights

Students' Constitutional Right to a Sound Basic Education: New Yorks State's Unfinished Agenda

The four-part report series listed below is designed to help guide elected officials, the board of Regents, and the New York State Education Department in moving New York toward providing all children the essential educational opportunities guaranteed by state law. 

Part 1: A Roadmap to Constitutional Compliance Ten Years after CFE v. State

Authors: Michael A. Rebell and Jessica R. Wolff
Published: November 2016

An overview of the three specific proposals, each listed below, designed as a roadmap to help guide elected officials, the Board of Regents, and the New York State Education Department in moving New York toward providing all children the essential educational opportunities guaranteed by law.

Part 2: Filling the Regulatory Gaps

Authors: Michael A. Rebell and Jessica R. Wolff, with Joseph R. Rogers, Jr., and Matthew Saleh
Published: November 2016

This article is the first of three proposals in CEE's article series entitled, Students' Constitutional Right to a Sound Basic Education: New York State's Unfinished Agenda. Filling the Regulatory Gaps outlines the revisions to education regulations needed for constitutional compliance.

Part 3: Utilizing a Constitutional Cost Methodology

Authors: Michael A. Rebell and Jessica R. Wolff
Published: November 2016

This article is the second of three proposals in CEE's article series entitled, Students' Constitutional Right to a Sound Basic Education: New York State's Unfinished Agenda. Utilizing a Constitutional Cost Methodology presents an innovative new method for calculating education costs.

Part 4: Ensuring Resource Accountability

Authors: Jessica R. Wolff and Michael A. Rebell, with Joseph R. Rogers, Jr.
Published: November 2016

This article is the third and final proposal in CEE's article series entitled, Students' Constitutional Right to a Sound Basic Education: New York State's Unfinished Agenda. Ensuring Resource Accountability spells out the mechanisms needed to monitor and enforce the provision of constitutionally required educational resources.

A New Constitutional Cost Methodology for Determining the Actual Cost of a Sound Basic Education

Authors: Michael A. Rebell, Henry M. Levin, Robert Shand, and Jessica R. Wolff
Published: September 2016

This article presents a constitutional cost methodology with clear standards for both "input" and "outcome" criteria, taking full account of the needs of students living in poverty, English language learners, and students with disabilities, and systematically considers cost effectiveness. 

Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts 2015 Supplement

Author: Michael A. Rebell
Published: 2015

Setting the Record Straight: The Truth About School Funding in New York State

Authors: Michael A. Rebell and Jessica R. Wolff
Published: February 2014

It is important to separate rhetoric and reality in today's debates over school funding. To help New Yorkers participate in this important discussion,CEE provides some facts to dispel some current school-funding myths. 

The Effects of Co-Location on new York City's Ability to Provide All Students a Sound Basic Education

Author: Campaign for Educational Equity
Published: June 2014

In this brief, we draw attention to an additional, related dimension of the impact of co-location policy: how the implementation of this strategy has affected the provision of students' New York State constitutional right to "the opportunity for sound basic education."

Reviewing Resources: An Assesment of the Availbility of Basic Educational Resources in High-Needs New York City Schools

Author(s): Jessica R. Wolff, Joseph R. Rogers, Jr., and Jaunelle Pratt
Published: The Campaign for Educational Equity, March 2012

Reviewing Resources is a preliminary report for the Campaign for Educational Equity's Safeguarding Sound Basic Education project. Based on interviews with school personnel from 34 high-needs New York City schools, the research highlights serious gaps in schools' ability to provide suitable curricula for all students, appropriate supports for struggling students, resources for improving teacher quality and a safe, orderly environment for learning.

Safeguarding the Right to a Sound Basic Education in Times of Fiscal Constraint

Author(s): Michael A. Rebell
Published: Albany Law Review, Volume 75, Number 4, June 2012
 
Michael Rebell's legal treatise on judicial responses to budget cuts illustrates that constitutional rights cannot be put on hold because of a recession. Rebell suggests that to succeed in future school funding cases, advocates and attorneys will need todemonstrate that the funding levels they seek in order to provide meaningful educational opportunities to all students are based on cost-efficient and cost-effective educational practices. But while he acknowledges that judges are sensitive to changed economic circumstances, he emphasizes that state has a constitutional burden of proof to demonstrate that all public school students are, in fact, receiving the opportunity for a sound basic education.

Essential Resources: The Constitutional Requirements for Providing All Students in New York State the Opportunity for a Sound Basic Education

Author(s): Michael Rebell, with assistance provided by Jessica R. Wolff and Joseph R. Rogers, Jr.
Published: The Campaign for Educational Equity, December 10, 2012

In absence of an existing framework to assess the state’s compliance with the court order in Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. State of New York, which guarantees all students the right to an adequate education, the Campaign’s first report creates an operational definition for sound basic education. Drawing on relevant state statutes, regulations, and judiciary requirements, Essential Resources focuses on eight specific areas to which students are constitutionally entitled, including qualified teachers, services for “at-risk students” and students with disabilities, class sizes, and instrumentalities of learning.    

Deficient Resources: An Analysis of the Availability of Basic Educational Resources in High-Need Schools in New York School Districts

Author(s): Michael A. Rebell, Jessica R. Wolff, and Joseph R. Rogers, Jr.
Published: The Campaign for Educational Equity, December 10, 2012
 

Deficient Resources documents the availability--or, as it turns out in most areas, the unavailability--of these essential resources in 33 high-needs schools in New York, including elementary, middle, and high schools in all five New York City boroughs and in all geographic areas of the state. Through interviews and in-depth analysis of these schools, researchers at the Campaign expose the alarming extent to which New York has denied its most vulnerable students the opportunity to receive a college- and career-ready education.

Courts and Kids: Pursuing  Educational Equity Through the State Courts


Author: Michael A. Rebell
Published: 2009

While federal courts have dramatically retreated, state courts have taken up the mantle of promoting the vision of educational equity originally articulated in Brown v. Board of Ed. This is the first detailed analysis of why the state courts have taken on this role and how successful their efforts have been.

Available at: The University of Chicago Press

Class-Size Reductions: Policy, Politics and Implications for Equity

Author(s): Douglas Ready
Published: Equity Matters: Research Review No. 2 (2008)

As part of a peer-review series of research reviews commissioned by the Campaign for Educational Equity from Teachers College faculty and other national experts from such centers as the Harvard Family Research Project and the National Center for Children and Families, Ready surveys the research literature on class-size reduction.