Oral arguments set for Tuesday in school aid appeal

Published Aug 31, 2017 at 4:00pm

Oral arguments will be heard Tuesday in the appeal for a state Supreme Court dismissal of a lawsuit against the state that claimed inadequate school aid funding, with Utica and seven other small city districts involved in the suit.

Arguments will be heard by the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Albany, according to a New York State Association of Small City School Districts announcement.

A decision by the Appellate Division could be ready as soon as December, the association said.

The association added, “a favorable decision will undoubtedly be appealed to the Court of Appeals” by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The suit, dismissed last year in Supreme Court, had been filed by parents from eight school districts on behalf of students; the districts include Utica, Jamestown, Kingston, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Port Jervis and Poughkeepsie.

The lawsuit accused the state of reneging on funding commitments following a separate 2007 court ruling in a Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit that led to changes in the state’s aid formula for schools.

The stakes in the case “are huge for the districts as well as the governor,” the association said.

If successful, it “will force the governor to correct the...disparity in spending between wealthy and poorer districts by improving education funding.”