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Published by Jon Campbell

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Published by: Jon Campbell on Jun 26, 2012
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=================================================================This memorandum is uncorrected and subject to revision beforepublication in the New York Reports.-----------------------------------------------------------------No. 69Ayube Hussein, as Parent of aStudent in the Albany City SchoolDistrict, et al.,Respondents,v.State of New York,Appellant.Denise A. Hartman, for appellant.Terence J. Devine, for respondents.New York State United Teachers, amicus curiae.MEMORANDUM:The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmedwith costs and the certified question should be answered in thenegative.Plaintiffs' claims are neither moot nor unripe forreview. The merits of the controversy are not before us.- 1 -
Hussein v State of New YorkNo. 69CIPARICK, J.(concurring):I fully agree with the majority's holding thatplaintiffs' claims are neither moot nor unripe. I writeseparately to emphasize that Campaign for Fiscal Equity v Stateof New York (86 NY2d 307 [1995] [CFE I]) is, and should remain,good law and that the parameters we set forth in that case and inCFE II (100 NY2d 893 [2003]) to define the content of aconstitutionally-required "sound basic education" do not intrudeinto the policy-making functions of the other branches ofgovernment but rather constitute a proper exercise of ourinterpretative function.“With full recognition and respect . . . for thedistribution of powers in educational matters among thelegislative, executive and judicial branches,” we have observedthat “it is nevertheless the responsibility of the courts toadjudicate contentions that actions taken by the Legislature andthe executive fail to conform to the mandates of theConstitutions which constrain the activities of all threebranches” (Board of Educ., Levittown Union Free School Dist. vNyquist, 57 NY2d 27, 39 [1982] [Levittown]). Indeed, though“[w]e have neither the authority, nor the ability, nor the will,- 1 -
- 2 -No. 69to micromanage education financing . . . it is the province ofthe Judicial branch to define, and safeguard, rights provided bythe New York State Constitution, and order redress for violationof them” (CFE II, 100 NY2d at 925; see also Matter of Maron vSilver, 14 NY3d 230, 263 [2010] [“whether the Legislature has metits constitutional obligations . . . is within the province ofthis Court”]).Article XI, § 1 of the State Constitution, theEducation Article, provides: "The legislature shall provide forthe maintenance and support of a system of free common schools,wherein all the children of this state may be educated."In Levittown, we held that the Education Article imposed a dutyon the Legislature to provide all children in New York theopportunity of an "education," a term that we interpreted "toconnote a sound basic education" (57 NY2d at 48). We observedthat "[w]hat appears to have been contemplated when the[E]ducation [A]rticle was adopted at the 1894 ConstitutionalConvention was a State-wide system assuring minimal acceptablefacilities and services" (id. at 47).In CFE I, noting "Levittown's unambiguousacknowledgment of a constitutional floor with respect toeducational adequacy" (86 NY2d at 315), we set out to furtherdefine "a sound basic education" in order that we maymeaningfully measure the State's efforts to meet itsconstitutional obligations. We determined that:- 2 -

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