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N.J. Supreme Court Orders Funding Boosts for Poor Urban Districts

From guest blogger Catherine Gewertz:

Yes, we know Sean told you that State EdWatch is on hiatus. But even in his absence, we felt the need to let you know about a significant piece of state news: The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that the state will have to pony up another $500 million to the state's poorest urban districts to make up for cuts it made last year.

Equally significant, the state's high court did not order similar restorations for the state's other 500-plus school districts, even though the plaintiffs had argued that by not fully funding its 2008 school-finance formula, the state had violated its constitutional guarantee of a "thorough and efficient" education.

Read more coverage of the ruling here, here and here, and the decision itself here.

The lawsuit is just the latest in a decades-long series of legal arguments over how to equalize funding in New Jersey. You can start here for a major development in the case: when the high court decided that the new funding formula was constitutional, essentially rendering the old way of calculating aid—one method for poor, urban districts and another for the rest of the districts—unnecessary in key areas.

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