In 2007, in the wake of the Court of Appeals’ decision in Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State, New York’s governor and legislature adopted a new Foundation Aid Formula that committed the State to increasing educational funding by over $7 billion state-wide over a four-year phase-in period. After providing the requisite increases for the first two years, following the 2008 recession, the State first froze further increases and then drastically cut school aid. Although funding has increased in recent years, as of the current school year, the State has still failed to provide approximately $4 billion of the promised increases (including inflation and other adjustments.)
In a budget bill enacted earlier this month, the State agreed to pay out the remaining amounts over the next three fiscal years, starting with an increased appropriation of $1.4 billion for the 2021-2022 school year. This development may lead to settlement of the pending case of New Yorkers for Students Education Rights (NYSER) v. State which had been brought in 2014 to compel the state to fully pay the amounts due under the Foundation Aid Formula. The NYSER plaintiffs are seeking a court-ordered guarantee that the State fully honor its funding commitment, as well as an objective transparent procedure for determining the amounts necessary in future years to provide all students the opportunity for a sound basic education.