New York

Lawsuit to overturn New York City school budget faces important court hearings

The lawsuit, put together in just weeks by advocates, parents and educators outraged by Mayor Adams’ cuts to city schools, faces a high-stakes hearing on Thursday that could lead to a court-ordered overhaul. is doing.

of suitHigh-profile win in lawsuit claiming procedural error nullified entire city budget string early victory — Starting July 22nd temporary restraining order He blocked further cuts in the education ministry and ordered spending to return to last year’s levels.

School Principal David Banks called the verdict “disastrous” He said it would stall a major initiative of the new administration and throw the agency’s $37 billion budget into chaos.

Meanwhile, supporters are hoping for cuts. Hundreds of millions to over a billion dollars — can actually be reversed.

Harlem mother and plaintiff in the lawsuit, Tamara Tucker, said of the case’s early win, “It was honestly a pleasant surprise.” ceased political activity.”

The case faces its biggest test yet in the Manhattan Supreme Court. Judge Lyle Frank will consider whether to extend the restraining order or take the unusual step of ordering the city council to rerun the budget vote.

Legal experts say it’s still a long way off, but there’s momentum on the plaintiffs’ side.

“At this point, in conclusion, I think the plaintiffs have good hands,” said David Bloomfield, professor of teaching law and leadership at the University of Brooklyn and the CUNY Graduate Center, citing Frank’s revoting. Even if the order is rejected, the plaintiff may still have sufficient influence with respect to the budget to amend the budget and force a favorable settlement.

The idea for the lawsuit came from a late June conversation between longtime education advocate Leonie Heimson and former member of the city’s education policy panel, Patrick Sullivan.

Sullivan said the city appeared to be violating state law by adopting the budget before the board approved the Department of Education’s spending plan, which it eventually approved later that month.

“I told Leonie, they can’t do what they just did. Let’s make this an issue,” Sullivan recalled.

Haimson reached out to Laura Barbieri, a veteran litigator and former prosecutor who once stood up to Cali-Colombian drug cartels and now focuses on education law. Barbieri agreed to undertake her case without charge.

Barbieri and Haimson argued that the city’s decision to skip the school board robbed the public of an opportunity to comment on key education spending decisions before legislators voted on the budget. ing.

“I believe in them [the Panel for Educational Policy] It’s the last bastion of civic participation written into the law, and I fear it won’t be used in the way the state intended,” Barbieri said.

Barbieri began a three-week scramble to find a plaintiff who met the legal criteria to file a lawsuit.

One of the plaintiffs, veteran music teacher Paul Trust, lost his job this spring after the school’s budget was cut. He said, “I decided to speak up after seeing my children hugging me with teary eyes and being stunned at how this could happen.

Barbieri filed the lawsuit on July 18th. Four days later, in a verdict of few words, Frank Delay plans to change controversial city health insurance coverage Hundreds of thousands of retired city employees — prevented the DOE from making cuts. A judge ordered a temporary return to last year’s spending levels.

The bank called the language “vague and broad” and “extremely difficult to interpret”, arguing that in reality the education ministry should stop spending.

Barbieri and plaintiffs dispute that claim, alleging that DOE deliberately exaggerated the confusion caused by the order to strengthen its legal claims.

However, they say they still sympathize with the enormous turmoil the Principal is going through, and hope the end result justifies the bumpy road.

“My motivation for joining this lawsuit is to try to improve the situation,” Tucker said. “Obviously it’s not better now, but if this means getting some money back into school, I believe it’s worth it in the end.”

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Lawsuit to overturn New York City school budget faces important court hearings

Source link Lawsuit to overturn New York City school budget faces important court hearings

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