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Advocates: New York state owes poor schools $5.5 billion

Education advocates on Wednesday pushed New York State to increase funding for schools in impoverished areas in the budget for the new fiscal year, saying those schools are owed $5.5 billion under a 2007 court ruling, Reuters reports. The Education Law Center, which absorbed the advocate group that had won the historic school funding lawsuit, did not specify how much extra funding it is seeking in the budget for poor school districts for the budget for fiscal 2013, which starts April 1. New York’s top court in 2007 had ruled that the state had failed to provide students in poor areas with the constitutionally required “sound, basic education.” New York had started to fulfill the court ruling by agreeing to a four-year increase in aid for students in so-called high needs areas. Spending rose more than $1 billion in 2007 and 2008, according to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the group that had won the lawsuit. There was no funding increase in 2009, however…

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