A Manhattan judge ruled Friday to throw out the New York City education department’s budget and allow the City Council and Mayor Eric Adams to reconsider how to fund schools this year.
Judge Lyle Frank ruled in favor of two teachers and two parents who filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court last month, claiming that the city violated state law when it approved the education department’s budget for this fiscal year.
The extraordinary ruling means that until the City Council revisits the budget, New York City must fund the school system at the same levels it did last fiscal year, which could mean at least a temporary boost in funding for most city schools. As many advocates, educators and union leaders celebrated the ruling, the city filed a notice to appeal hours after the judge published his decision.
“Obviously there are many, many court cases that have a huge impact on the city budget, but to implicate the process and require a redo or a do-over seems unprecedented,” said David Bloomfield, a professor of education, law, and public policy at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.