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Joseph Wolf

Term Paper
MFC 332
Olga Posse

1. Board of Education, Levittown Union Free School District v. Nyquist, 57 N.Y.2d 27,
1982
2. School district boards of education and public school students brought declaratory
judgement action challenging New York provisions for financing public schools. They
declared that the States public school financing system violated both the equal protection
clause and the constitutional education article, which was affirmed by L. Kingsley Smith,
J., 94 Misc.2d 466, 408, N.Y.S 2d 606. The case was then appealed, and the appealed
again, at which Judge Jones heard the case. In this case, the plaintiffs argue that property
poor school districts cannot provide the same level of education as a property rich
school district. They argue that this violates the states constitution and request that a more
balanced financial resolution be sought.
3. 94 Misc.2d 466, 408, N.Y.S 2d 606. After 23,000 pages of transcript the justice
presiding issued a judgement declaring that the States public school finance system
violates both the equal protection clause and the education article.
83, A.D.2d 217, 443 N.Y.S. 2d 843 The Appellate Division, by a divided court,
modified the judgement of the trial court. While concurring in the determination that the
provisions of the State Constitution had been violated, the appellate court rejected the

conclusion that the interveners had also established a violation of the Federal
Constitution.
4. Does New York States financial system for public schools violate the equal protection
clause?
Does New York States financial system for public schools violate the constitutional
education article?
5. Existing provisions for state aid to finance public education do not violate the equal
protection clause of the Federal or State constitution.
Education articles requirement that legislature provide for maintenance and support of
system of free common schools in which all children of state may be educated is being
met in New York, in which the average pupil expenditure exceeds that in all other states
but two, and thus present school financing system does not violate the education article.
We now modify the order of the Appellate division and direct that judgement be entered
declaring that the present admixture of statutory provisions for State aid to local school
districts, considering in connection with the existing system for local financing, is
constitutional under the equal protection clause of the Federal Constitution and under
both the equal protection clause and the education article of the State Constitution.

Order of Appellate division modified with direction.

6.
a. The interveners assert that in the case of larger cities metropolitan overburden
diminish the available financial resources in those localities. The Justices on this
case turned to San Antonio School Dist. V. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 93 S.Ct. 1278,
36 L.Ed. 2d 16. In that case, which had many of the same issues as this case, the
idea of the state compensating an area due to lower assessable property was
rejected.
b. The justices in this court used a precedent set by Justice Hopkins. Hopkins stated
it is beyond the power of this court in this litigation to determine whether the
appropriations of the intervener-plaintiffs have been wisely directed or reasonably
applied, or whether their budgets are fairly divided in terms of priority of need
between the competing services. It is, equally, beyond the owner of the court to
determine whether the resources of the intervener-plaintiffs can otherwise be
employed so that their educational needs can be meet. The justices in this case
went on to say We conclude that, applying the rational basis test, the interveners
have failed to demonstrate denial of equal protection under the Federal
Constitution.
c. Throughout the state, voters, by their action on school budgets, exercise a
substantial control over the educational opportunities made available in their
districts; to the extent that an authorized budget requires expenditures in excess of
State aid, which will be funded by local taxes, there is a direct correlation between

the system of local school financing and implementation of the desires of the
taxpayer.
d. The 360 dollar per pupil flat rate grant provided by the state is immune from
attack under the equal protection clause, for on its face there is no inequality in
this per pupil distribution of state aid.
e. The contentions that they are denied equal protection under the State
Constitution must be rejected for the same reasons that their comparable claims
under the Federal Constitution are rejected.
f. Interpreting the term education as we do, to connote a sound basic education, we
have no difficult in determining that the constitutional requirement is being met in
this State, in which it is said without contradiction that the average per pupil
expenditure exceeds that in all other States but two.
7. Judge Fuchsberg, dissenting.
a. Does not believe that New York State rises to the level dictated by a realistic
reading of the constitutional mandate for the maintenance and support of a
system of free common schools.
b. Strongly believes education needs to be funded fully, and that education is, as the
Supreme Court put it, the primary vehicle for transmitting the values on which
our society rests.
c. Cites many findings about the 4 major cities.. Spent 28% of their tax revenues on
education while jurisdictions outside the cities spent 45 percent. New York City
was given 47 percent of the states pupils yet only received 31 percent of the total

public school population and received only 26 percent of the states education
operating aid.
d. Argues that massive disparities in wealth, from over 6k per pupil in some counties
to 936 for the poorest, create big issues in education. For example, the rich do not
have to worry about how many speech therapists they have, whereas the poor
have to ration their use of them.
e. Agrees with the Appellate division holding.
Cook, C. J, concurring
Kasen, Gabrielli, concurring
Wachtler and Meyey, JJ, concurring.

1. Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994.
2. The CFE lost in the previous case of Board of Education, Levittown Union Free School
District v. Nyquist, 57 N.Y.2d 27, 1982, but that hasnt stopped them from trying to win
the battle. In this case the state has challenged the legality of the CFE, students, and
people of the like, bringing claims against them regarding a school districts financial
formula. The state claims immunity from these claims. They site Matter of Jeter v.
Ellenville Cent. School District., 41.N.Y.2d 283, 287, 392, N.Y.S.2d 403, 360, N.E.2d
1086.
3.
A. 94 Misc.2d 466, 408, N.Y.S 2d 606. After 23,000 pages of transcript the justice
presiding issued a judgement declaring that the States public school finance system
violates both the equal protection clause and the education article.
B. 83, A.D.2d 217, 443 N.Y.S. 2d 843 The Appellate Division, by a divided court,
modified the judgement of the trial court. While concurring in the determination that
the provisions of the State Constitution had been violated, the appellate court rejected
the conclusion that the interveners had also established a violation of the Federal
Constitution.
C. Board of Education, Levittown Union Free School District v. Nyquist, 57 N.Y.2d 27,
1982 Concluded that Existing provisions for state aid to finance public education
do not violate the equal protection clause of the Federal or State constitution.

Education articles requirement that legislature provide for maintenance and support
of system of free common schools in which all children of state may be educated is
being met in New York, in which the average pupil expenditure exceeds that in all
other states but two, and thus present school financing system does not violate the
education article.

4. Do people, school districts, the CFE, and things of the like have the power to challenge
the States inherent right to decide the financial rules of school districts?
Do the CFE and other parties have a case at all?
5.
A. Municipality and the community school boards lacked standing to bring actions
B. Complaints challenging constitutionality of state school financing formula
sufficiently alleged violations of state constitutional mandate that legislature maintain
and support free common schools wherein all children may be educated
C. Financing system did not violate federal equal protection clause
D. Complaints sufficiently alleged Title 6 civil rights claim
E. Complaints sufficiently stated claims for violation of state constitutional
antidiscrimination clause prohibiting discrimination as to social rights.
6.
A. The Appellate division recently affirmed an order dismissing a complaint which
similarly challenged the constitutionality of the States public school financing
scheme. ( Reform Educational Financing Inequities Today [R.E.F.I.T.] v. Cuomo,
199 A.D.2d 488, 606, N.Y.S.2d 44.

B. Levittown set the standard for what minimum educational standards are, and the
Board of Regents affirmed that NYS is in accordance with Levittown.
C. The financing system challenged today appears to be exactly the same as the one
challenged in Levittown.
D. There is no set forth requisite claim of intentional discrimination.
E. Claims of discrimination are not founded, based on People v. Kern, 75 N.Y.2d 638,
555, N.Y.S. 2d 647, 554, N.E.2d 1235.
F. The plaintiffs lack the ability to sue due to the above reasons
G. The cause of action of the municipal complaint and the second cause of action of the
CFE complaint are dismissed on the ground that they fail to state a cause of action.
7. None given.

1. Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 86 N.Y.2d 307, 1995.
2. 13 years after Levittown was decided CFE brings another case challenging the
constitutionality of New York States public school financing system. The Complaint
pleads causes of action under the Education Article, the equal protection clause, and Title
VI.
3. Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994. Held that the
financing system did not violate federal equal protection clause. Also held that the
complaints sufficiently stated claims for violation of state constitutional
antidiscrimination clause prohibiting discrimination as to social rights and that the
complaints sufficiently alleged title VI violations.
94 Misc.2d 466, 408, N.Y.S 2d 606. After 23,000 pages of transcript the justice
presiding issued a judgement declaring that the States public school finance system
violates both the equal protection clause and the education article.
83, A.D.2d 217, 443 N.Y.S. 2d 843 The Appellate Division, by a divided court,
modified the judgement of the trial court. While concurring in the determination that the
provisions of the State Constitution had been violated, the appellate court rejected the
conclusion that the interveners had also established a violation of the Federal
Constitution.
Board of Education, Levittown Union Free School District v. Nyquist, 57 N.Y.2d 27,
1982 Concluded that Existing provisions for state aid to finance public education do
not violate the equal protection clause of the Federal or State constitution. Education

articles requirement that legislature provide for maintenance and support of system of
free common schools in which all children of state may be educated is being met in New
York, in which the average pupil expenditure exceeds that in all other states but two, and
thus present school financing system does not violate the education article.
4. Did Levittown already answer the plaintiffs claims?
Did the plaintiffs correctly state causes of action?

5.
A. Education article is not merely hortatory and established a constitutional floor with
B. respect to education adequacy
C. Complaint states cause of action for violation of the education article
D. Heightened scrutiny under equal protection clause was not applicable to claims
E. Proof of discriminatory effect suffices to established liability under Title VI
regulations
F. Complaint stated cause of action under those effects.
G. Affirmed as modified
6.
1. Alleging that the states school financing scheme violates the equal protection
clause of the federal and state constitutions must be dismissed in light of our
decision in Levittown.
2. Any disparities in educational funding among school districts in the state were
rationally based upon and reasonably related to a leg image state interest.

3. Plaintiffs argue that the states funding methodology deprives NYC school
children of a minimum adequate education. They urge that the burden of proof
is on the state to show a substantial relationship between its school funding
and its state interest.
4. Plyler v doe does not stand for the broad proposition that heightened scrutiny
applies in all state financing challenges.
5. The court determines that "neither Plyler nor any Supreme Court case decided
after Levittown requires reexamination of our holding on that case rejecting
scrutiny and finding rational basis in the states educational funding scheme.
6. The court rejects the contention that state funding has had an impact upon
African American and other minority students. The plaintiffs did not establish
intentional discrimination.

7. As per Guardians Assn. V. Civil Serv. Commn., 463 U.S. 582, 103 S.Ct.
3221, 77 L.Ed.2d. 866, there must be a showing of intentional discrimination
to succeed on a title VI claim.
8. Applying the standards of this case, the plaintiffs have stated a cause of action
under title VI's regulations.
9. Title VI is governed the same as title VII. A valid cause of action contains two
parts. "Whether a challenged practice has a sufficiently adverse racial impact,
aka whether it falls significantly more harshly on a minority racial group, and
if so, whether the practice is adequately justified.

10. Plaintiffs support their allegations statistically, pointing out the disparity
between the total and per capita education aid distributed to the city's
predominantly minority student populations as opposed to the amount
distributed to the states nonminority students.
7.
A. Levine- concurring in result as to the first cause of action based upon a violation of the
education article
1. Also believes there to be a valid cause of action under the US Department of
Educations implementing title VI.
2. Believes that the concept of a sound basic education as a constitutional mandate
is much more circumscribed than the aspirational, largely subjective standards
expressed by the lower courts. Uses words from Judge Fuschberg, stating that
school prepares students to face the world of today and tomorrow.
3. Argues that a sound basic education is much more than what Levittown
described it as.

B. Simons, dissenting in part and voting not to reinstate the first cause of action in a
separate opinion.
1. Also believes that in addition to upholding the causes of action based on
education, that the complaint states a valid equal protection claim under both the
federal and state constitutions.
2. Conclude through using a variety of past cases that the cause of action under
the equal protection claim is founded.

C. Smith, j. Dissenting in part and voting to reinstate causes of action on behalf of the
municipal plaintiffs as well as the non-municipal plaintiffs and to reinstate the second
cause of action insofar as it asserts a violation of the Equal protection clause of the
state constitution, for reasons stated in judge smiths dissenting in part opinion.
A. Also believes that in addition to upholding the causes of action based on
education, that the complaint states a valid equal protection claim under both the
federal and state constitutions.
B. Conclude through using a variety of past cases that the cause of action under
the equal protection claim is founded.
D. Ciparick, J. Dissenting in part and voting to reinstate causes of action on behalf of the
municipal

plaintiffs as well as the non-municipal plaintiffs and to reinstate the

second cause of

action insofar as it asserts a violation of the Equal Protection

Clause of the State

Constitution, for reasons stated in judge Smiths dissenting in part

opinion.

Summary of the Case Holdings


Levittown
Existing provisions for state aid to finance public education do not violate the equal protection
clause of the Federal or State constitution.
Education articles requirement that legislature provide for maintenance and support of system
of free common schools in which all children of state may be educated is being met in New
York, in which the average pupil expenditure exceeds that in all other states but two, and thus
present school financing system does not violate the education article.
We now modify the order of the Appellate division and direct that judgement be entered
declaring that the present admixture of statutory provisions for State aid to local school districts,
considering in connection with the existing system for local financing, is constitutional under the
equal protection clause of the Federal Constitution and under both the equal protection clause
and the education article of the State Constitution.

Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994
A.

Municipality and the community school boards lacked standing to bring actions

B.

Complaints challenging constitutionality of state school financing formula sufficiently

alleged violations of state constitutional mandate that legislature maintain and support free
common schools wherein all children may be educated
C.

Financing system did not violate federal equal protection clause

D.

Complaints sufficiently alleged Title 6 civil rights claim

E.

Complaints sufficiently stated claims for violation of state constitutional

antidiscrimination clause prohibiting discrimination as to social rights.

Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 86 N.Y.2d 307, 1995
A. Education article is not merely hortatory and established a constitutional floor with
B. respect to education adequacy
C. Complaint states cause of action for violation of the education article
D. Heightened scrutiny under equal protection clause was not applicable to claims
E. Proof of discriminatory effect suffices to established liability under Title VI regulations
F. Complaint stated cause of action under those effects.
G. Affirmed as modified

These three cases, Board of Education, Levittown Union Free School District v. Nyquist,
57 N.Y.2d 27, 1982, Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994, and
Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 86 N.Y.2d 307, 1995 are landmark cases within
the education system of New York. They all challenge the state and its financial policy regarding
public schools, and assert that they violate key rules within the state and federal constitution.
These cases, with their different holdings and long, complicated dissents and affirmations are
complicated. While indeed they are difficult it is important to understand how they are similar
and different.
These cases all have some things in common. For example, Levittown and Campaign for
Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994, stated Existing provisions for state
aid to finance public education do not violate the equal protection clause of the Federal or State
constitution. In addition, Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 86 N.Y.2d 307, 1995
also came to a similar answer by stating the plaintiffs failed to allege legally sufficient causes of
action under the Equal protection clause. All three cases also agreed that a sound basic
education does not mean going above and beyond, but rather providing facilities and teachers for
the advancement of speech, math, social studies, and so on. Granted, there were quite a few
dissenting opinions on that idea.
There were also differences between the cases. For example, Campaign for Fiscal Equity
v. New York State, 162 Misc.2d 493, 1994 states that the Complaints sufficiently alleged Title
6 civil rights claim whereas in Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State, 86 N.Y.2d 307,
1995, the court found that the plaintiffs have failed to allege legally sufficient causes of action
under title VI.