Deborah Yaffe

1970    January 15: Jersey City mayor announces plans to sue state over school funding

            February 13: Robinson v. Cahill filed

            October 26: Bateman school funding law enacted

 

1971    August 30: California Supreme Court rules in Serrano v. Priest 

            November 1-9: Superior Court trial of Robinson 

 

1972    January 19: Superior Court Judge Theodore Botter rules for plaintiffs in Robinson 

 

1973    March 21: U.S. Supreme Court rules in San Antonio v. Rodriguez 

            April 3: New Jersey Supreme Court rules for plaintiffs in Robinson I

            June 19: Robinson II 

 

1975    January 23: Robinson III

            May 23: Robinson IV 

            September 29: Public School Education Act school funding law (“T&E law”) enacted

 

1976    January 30: Robinson V 

            May 13: Robinson VI 

            June 15: Robinson VII 

            July 1: Schools close by order of state Supreme Court

            July 8: Income tax enacted

            July 9: Schools reopen

 

1977    November 8: Governor Brendan Byrne re-elected

 

1981    February 5: Abbott v. Burke filed by Education Law Center

 

1983    November 15: Abbott v. Burke dismissed from Superior Court

 

1985    July 23: New Jersey Supreme Court rules in Abbott I that case must be heard administratively

 

1986    September 29: Abbott v. Burke administrative hearing begins

 

1987    June 5: Abbott v. Burke administrative hearing ends

 

1988    August 25: Administrative Law Judge Steven Lefelt rules for plaintiffs in Abbott

 

1990    May 24: Quality Education Act school funding law (QEA) introduced

            June 5: New Jersey Supreme Court rules for plaintiffs in Abbott II 

            July 3: Original QEA (QEA I) enacted

            November 6: Democrats do poorly in elections

 

1991    March 14: Revised QEA (QEA II) enacted

 

1992    July 8: Superior Court trial begins in Abbott v. Burke challenge to QEA II

            July 16: Education Law Center announces alliance with state’s largest teachers union

            November 18: Abbott v. Burke Superior Court trial ends

 

1993    August 31: Superior Court Judge Paul Levy rules for plaintiffs in Abbott 

            November 2: Governor Jim Florio defeated for re-election

 

1994    July 12: New Jersey Supreme Court rules for plaintiffs in Abbott III

 

1996    June 27: Comprehensive Educational Improvement and Financing Act school funding law  (CEIFA) introduced

            December 20: CEIFA enacted

 

1997    May 14: New Jersey Supreme Court rules for plaintiffs in Abbott IV challenge to CEIFA

            November 17-December 22: Remand court holds hearing on programs required under Abbott

 

1998    May 21: New Jersey Supreme Court lays out required programs in Abbott V

 

2000    March 7: Abbott VI 

            May 25: Abbott VII 

            July 18: School construction law enacted

 

2002    February 19: Governor Jim McGreevey announces collaboration with Abbott plaintiffs

            February 21: Abbott VIII

            June 11: Abbott IX 

            June 24: Abbott X 

            July 23: Abbott XI

 

2004    June 7: Abbott XII

            November 1: Abbott XIII 

 

2005    December 19: Abbott XIV 

 

2006    May 9: Abbott XV

            May 22: Abbott XVI 

 

2007    May 24: Abbott XVII

            December 12: Governor Jon Corzine proposes School Funding Reform Act school aid law (SFRA)

 

2008    January 7: Legislature passes SFRA

            January 13: Governor Jon Corzine signs SFRA

            February 19: Abbott XVIII 

            March 18: State asks New Jersey Supreme Court to uphold SFRA and end Abbott remedies

            November 18: In Abbott XIX, New Jersey Supreme Court orders lower-court hearing on whether SFRA ensures

                                    a constitutional education in Abbott districts

 

2009    February 9-March 3: Remand court holds hearings on SFRA's constitutionality

            March 25: Remand court finds SFRA constitutional

            May 28: In Abbott XX, New Jersey Supreme Court finds SFRA constitutional if fully funded.

 

2010   June 8: Education Law Center asks New Jersey Supreme Court to find that underfunding of SFRA violates              

                         constitutional guarantee of a thorough and efficient education

 

2011    January 13: New Jersey Supreme Court orders lower-court hearing on whether SFRA, as funded, ensures a

                                constitutional education for the state’s children

            February 14: Remand hearing begins

            March 22: Remand court finds SFRA underfunding unconstitutional

            May 24: In Abbott XXI, New Jersey Supreme Court finds SFRA underfunding unconstitutional and orders state

                          to increase funding to 31 former Abbott districts by $500 million.

Timeline: New Jersey's School Funding Battles

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