EDCI 506: Legal Issue in Education




In the past few years we have heard a lot about the No Child Left Behind act. This year, states are trying to put even more pressure on teachers by having their evaluations contribute to the overall accountability of the students, the student’s test scores and the school system as a whole. However, New York has submitted into a court a motion stating that the “State cannot withhold aid to city schools over teach evaluation impasse”.

New York state officials had demanded that city schools in New York come up with a plan for evaluation public school teachers. Gov. Cuomo had told New York public education that he would withhold $260 million if they could not develop a plan for evaluating the public school teachers. The New York teacher’s union was unable to develop a plan by the January 17th deadline and therefore the Governor was reluctant to give the hefty federal grant to the school systems.

It was stated by the judge that “’innocent children, particularly the neediest among them, could be hurt by financial cuts’” (Baker, 2013). This can be tied back to the 1975 cause of Goss vs. Lopez in which the Supreme Court rules that students had a legal right to education, and that “students had a property interest in their education that could not be taken away”(Ornstein 2011). This is most likely why the Judge in New York ruled against the withholding of the grant. Students would inherently be impacted, whether they were unable to pay for student’s lunches, or supplies for the classroom. It would end up doing more bad than good.

A lawyer who filed the class action suit stated that the judge’s decision” is a substantial victory for all of New York City’s students”. Now the students will not need to worry about being able to eat lunch or not having a textbook for their class. A chairwoman of the State Assembly’s education committee also commented saying that “no one should ever use formula-drive aid to punish kids”, you can tell that the main concern was for the well-being of the children who attend New York public schools. (Baker, 2013)



Baker, A. (2013, February 21). Judge says state cannot withhold aid to city school’s over teacher evaluation impasse. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/nyregion/ny-state-cannot-withhold-aid-to-city-schools-judge-says.html?ref=education&_r=1&

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg/1160px-Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of Education. (11ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

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3 Responses to “EDCI 506: Legal Issue in Education”

  1. jdunn says:

    I think the judge did the right thing. Justice Mendez noted that there were other ways to pressure the teacher’s union UFT to develop evaluation guidelines. Cuomo did what so many other state politicians try to do, which is to apply some top-down pressure monetarily. Still, we did not see the union give any ground either; it is concerning that children get caught up in the middle. It’s good to see courts providing some advocacy children, who often don’t have the most effective lobbying!

  2. sstark says:

    Withholding funds is a great idea for pushing a school to face accountability; however, when it comes to punishing students because of a school’s need for improvement, I think we should draw the line. The purpose of education and the school environment is to educate students. When funding is denied, students lose their essentials in the classroom as mentioned in your post. They lose their opportunity and tools to succeed.
    Teacher accountability based off test scores certainly isn’t the solution either. Students learn differently at different paces, as we all know. An educator is not going to be able to reach 100% of their class in a given year.
    There is a demand for a plan of accountability in schools. What that is, I do not know. Your post brings up a very controversial issue! I’m not sure anyone has an answer yet.

  3. kevans3 says:

    I agree with the comments that you made, students should not be deprived of their right to education, no matter the situation. Maybe these schools weren’t making the “grade” that was expected of them, but how would cutting school funding help the situation at all? I really think that these government officials pushing the NCLB Act do not realize the difficulties of being a teacher. It is hard to reach certain students, as there are many with varying types of learning disabilities, as well as other impacting factors. As teachers we must teach everybody, and as we’ve discussed in class previously, just because a certain grade is not being attained on the test does not mean that the student is not making progress. The funding that is allocated for schools should go to the schools, because without it, there is zero hope for improvement. Good post!