The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered that a trial be held to decide whether the state can eliminate the special funding formula that has funneled billions in extra aid to its poorest urban school districts.
The Nov. 18 ruling means that a Superior Court judge will hear evidence on whether the state’s new funding formula adequately addresses the needs of schoolchildren in the 31 “Abbott” districts, named for the long-running lawsuit, Abbott v. Burke, that established them as “special needs” districts.
The state supreme court’s order preserves the Abbott funding pending the outcome of the trial in the lower court. It appoints Superior Court Judge Peter E. Doyne, the assignment judge of the court in Hackensack, N.J., as a “special master” for the trial, and instructs him to conduct it on an expedited basis.
A version of this article appeared in the December 03, 2008 edition of Education Week