Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order & Preliminary Injunction Against Budget Cuts To Schools

Published on July 22, 2022, 5:47 pm
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In the lawsuit against the city’s attempt to radically cut budgets filed on July 18, Judge Lyle Frank of the NY State Supreme Court granted the plaintiffs a Temporary restraining order – meaning the city is enjoined from making any further cuts to school budgets and the spending must remain at the levels in their FY 22 budgets.

The Judge allowed the city to submit arguments in writing against the TRO on Monday, with the plaintiff’s attorney, Laura Barbieri, to reply to the city on Tuesday.

The case will be heard in court on August 04, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

The entire court order could be viewed here.

As the lawsuit points out, New York State Education Law specifies a mandated process by which the NYC Board of Education (also known as the Panel for Educational Policy) must vote to approve the education budget prior to the City Council vote; but in this case, the City Council voted to adopt the budget on June 13, 2022, ten days before the Board voted on June 23, 2022.  The lawsuit asks for a revote of the City Council in order to ensure the legally-required process occurs, so that the Council has the opportunity to reconsider its vote based on the testimony of nearly 70 parents and teachers who spoke out at the Board of Education meeting, detailing the profoundly damaging impact of these cuts on their schools.

In addition, State law also requires that the Board vote on a budget in which the expenses of the Community School District Councils are delineated separately from the expenses of the City Board, which did not occur either.

“The TRO is now in place and Court has granted a hearing date in court; we continue to believe that the cuts are causing irreparable harm to students and teachers. We hope to win this case on the merits, as the cuts were enacted in a manner that clearly violates state law,” said Laura Barbieri, the attorney from Advocates for Justice who is handling the case pro bono on behalf of four parents and teacher plaintiffs.

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