Michael Rebell Publishes New Article on Judicial Responses to Budget Cuts
Published: 9/5/2012 10:25:00 AM
The article is national in scope, and reviews all of the relevant federal and state cases. It also provides a detailed case study of recent developments in New York State to illustrate the basic themes. In responding to budgetary pressures, New York has substantially reduced state aid, without demonstrating that current funding levels are based on the “actual cost” of a sound basic education, as required by the court’s ruling in CFE v. State of New York. The state has compounded these constitutional violations by imposing arbitrary caps on future state aid appropriations and on local property tax increases. Although the state might be able to justify funding levels below those promised by the legislature in 2007 in response to the CFE ruling, through mandate relief and appropriate cost-effectiveness policies, the 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.