NEWS FROM THE ACCESS NETWORK

MICHIGAN SUIT CLAIMS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO LITERACY UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

September 22, 2016

Attorneys representing seven Detroit school children filed a 133- page class action complaint earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging that the state of Michigan has disinvested in education in Detroit to such an extent that children lack fundamental access to literacy. Gary B. v. Snynder. The plaintiffs […]

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NY TRIAL COURT REJECTS SOUND BASIC EDUCATION CLAIM

September 22, 2016

In a surprising decision issued last week, Acting Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor dismissed the claims of schoolchildren from eight small city school districts in upstate New York who alleged that they were being denied their constitutionally-mandated opportunity for a sound basic education because of inadequate state funding. Maisto v. State of New York. The […]

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PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN NEW ADEQUACY CASE

September 22, 2016

Although the Pennsylvania courts have twice rejected  past attempts to establish an enforceable right to education in the commonwealth, last year a coalition of parents, school districts and the state NAACP brought a new suit that, arguing that their case should be distinguished from the prior efforts because the educational funding targets established by the […]

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CONNECTICUT COURT UPHOLDS ADEQUACY CLAIM

September 12, 2016

In a strongly-worded 89 page decision, Superior Court Judge Thomas G Moukawsher  held that major components of Connecticut’s K-12 education system were so “irrational” that they were denying students, especially those in low wealth districts, their constitutional right to an adequate education. Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell. Setting aside the state’s arguments […]

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NY APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS PLAINTIFFS’ RIGHT TO PROCEED WITH THE NYSER LITIGATION

September 12, 2016

Last week, an intermediate appeals court, the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the trial court’s denial of the state’s motion to dismiss  plaintiffs’ claims in New Yorkers for Students’ Educational Rights (NYSER) v. State of New York. The NYSER plaintiffs are challenging the state’s failure to fully fund the state-wide foundation aid formula that it adopted […]

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NEW HAMPSHIRE CAP ON STATE GRANTS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS IS DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL

September 12, 2016

In August 2015, the Dover School District sued the State of New Hampshire for failing to adequately fund its schools. The suit challenged a state statutory funding cap that limits year to year increases under the current funding formula to 108% of the prior year’s amount. Last week Superior Court Judge Brian T. Tucker upheld […]

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NASHVILLE JOINS TENNESSEE ADEQUACY LITIGATION

September 12, 2016

Joining seven other school districts that last year sued the State of Tennessee for abdicating its constitutional duty to fund the state’s system of public education, the Nashville Metro school district last week filed a complaint seeking extra funding. The school districts’ basic claim is that the state has failed to fully fund the Basic […]

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S.CAROLINA PLAINTIFFS REJECT LEGISLATURE’S COMPLIANCE REPORT

August 23, 2016

In November 2014, the S. Carolina Supreme Court held that the state’s education finance system violated the state constitution. Abbeville v. the State of South Carolina, 767 S.E.2d 157 (S.C. 2014.) The parties were directed to reappear before the Court “within a reasonable time” to present a plan to address the constitutional violations, and the Court […]

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CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR MAJOR ADEQUACY CASES

August 23, 2016

California’s highest court yesterday declined to review the decisions of two lower courts that had ruled that although education is a “fundamental right” under the state constitution, there was “no explicit textual basis from which a constitutional right to a public school education of a particular quality may be discerned.”  Plaintiffs in these two related […]

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CALIFORNIA COURT ALSO REFUSES TO HEAR VERGARA APPEAL

August 23, 2016

By  a similar 4-3 vote, with the same three justices dissenting ( Chin, Lui and Cuellar), the California Supreme Court also decided yesterday not to hear the appeal of the California Court of Appeal’s denial of relief to the plaintiffs in Vergara v. State of California. That case had gone to trial. The trial judge […]

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