Following years of litigation, a New York State Appellate Court has issued a landmark decision in favor of the Utica City School District.

The Utica School District had fought for years to achieve equitable funding for high-need school districts across the state.

The district has argued that the state had not met its obligation under the State Constitution to provide a “sound basic” education to students due to many years of underfunding of state aid.

The Utica City School District says it is is owed tens of millions of dollars by New York State due to the underfunding of Foundation Aid for over a decade.

Utica was joined in the lawsuit against the state by seven other small cities which are also affected by the appellate court’s decision.

Other school districts involved in Utica lawsuit include the Jamestown, Kingston, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Port Jervis, Niagara Falls and Poughkeepsie School Districts.

The May 27 ruling by the Appellate Division reversed a 2019 decision by the state Supreme Court which had ruled in the state’s favor.

The Appellate Court ruling sends the case back to the Supreme Court for resolution.

Utica School District Superintendent Bruce Karam, who provided countless hours of testimony in an Albany Courthouse on behalf of the school district, calls it a "hard fought" victory for students in the district.

The Utica City School District is made up of ten elementary schools, two middle schools and Proctor High School.

A copy of the decision can be found at the following link: http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/

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