Money matters; without adequate resources, schools cannot educate students. The availability of resources closely correlates with opportunities and outcomes. We believe school aid distribution should be based on student and school district need. New York currently ranks 49th in the nation on equity in education spending.

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) was created by parents who filed a lawsuit against the State of New York, claiming that children were not being provided the opportunity to an adequate education. In 2006, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in CFE’s favor, and found that New York State is violating students constitutional right to a “sound and basic education” by leaving schools without the funding necessary.  As a result of the ruling, schools were ordered to receive $5.5 billion increase in basic operating aid (also known as Foundation Aid) statewide over the course of a four year phase-in from 2007 to 2011.

What is the Foundation Aid Formula?

This formula was created in response to the CFE ruling to distribute state aid based on student need. It accounts for the ability of the school district or city to raise money from local property taxes and was intended to close the spending gap between districts and create an equitable education system for all students. You can learn more about how the formula works here.


Most content created by the Alliance for Quality Education based on analyses of state budgets.

Some timeline content sourced from “Education Finance Equity For New York City Schools: The Long Haul,” by John Casey and Apurva Mehrotra of the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management in the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, January 2011.

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