For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2018
STATEMENT ON APPEALS COURT DECISION ALLOWING WRIGHT v. NY TO MOVE FORWARD
New York, NY – The Appellate Division, 2nd Department of the New York State Supreme Court delivered a key victory to the plaintiffs in Wright v. New York, affirming the denial of a motion to dismiss the case. The plaintiff families had also won the two motions to dismiss that were brought by the defendants in the lower court.
Alissa Bernstein, Executive Director of Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), said, “Today’s decision from the New York appeals court is an incredible victory for students’ rights. While the defendants have repeatedly tried to delay and dispose of this case, today’s decision affirms the fact that the brave parents and children who brought this suit deserve their day in court. The fight for educational justice will continue so that we can give our students the education they are guaranteed under the state constitution.”
Jay Lefkowitz, Kirkland & Ellis Senior Partner and lead plaintiffs’ counsel for Wright v. New York, said, “We are pleased that the Second Department has decided to allow this lawsuit to proceed and has once again rejected the effort by the State, the City, and the teachers’ unions to stop this lawsuit. New York’s constitution guarantees all children in the state a sound basic education, and the current teacher employment statutes are simply failing our children by keeping ineffective teachers in our public schools. This decision will finally allow us to get the evidence from the State that will vindicate the rights of parents and children across the state.”
The Wright v. New York case was first filed in 2014, when nine families from across the state brought suit against the State of New York and others, claiming that teacher tenure, dismissal, and quality-blind layoff laws deprive New York children of their right to a sound basic education as guaranteed under the New York State Constitution.
About Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ)
PEJ pursues educational equity through legal action to improve the quality of public schools. PEJ utilizes a variety of legal actions to achieve its mission, including pursuing impact litigation, amicus brief filings, Freedom of Information Act requests, and other law-related avenues that seek to achieve meaningful reforms of education laws or policies that fail to prioritize students’ rights. PEJ is an affiliate of the national education nonprofit 50CAN: 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, which advocates at the local level for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address.