Fact Sheet: General information about the lawsuit
1. The Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia is a coalition of 51 local school systems, which was formed to obtain additional support from the State in the financing of K-12 education in Georgia.
2. The Consortium is filing a law suit because the State is not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide an adequate education for all of Georgia's students.
3. This lawsuit is not intended to benefit any one part of Georgia or any specific systems at the expense of other systems, but all of the students throughout our state. Similarly, it is not the intent of the lawsuit to criticize anyone or to propose a specific remedy.
4. Money isn't everything in the quality of education. Accountability, teaching skills, and parental involvement are also essential, but there must be a minimum level of resources to enable a school to provide an adequate education for all of its students.
5. The State has a clear and unconditional obligation under the Georgia Constitution to provide an adequate education for all students in Georgia. The Quality Basic Education Act was intended to fulfill this obligation, but the “QBE Formula,” as expressed in the annual budget, is not a realistic measure of the cost of meeting even the most basic State requirements. It is certainly not an accurate estimate of the cost of providing an adequate education, especially for the children who need extra help.
6. Increasing the QBE Formula to a realistic level would lead to greater funding by the State, since the required local effort by local systems has already been met. These funds would then be distributed in accordance with the per-student allocations in the formula. All systems would benefit.
7. In addition to the deficits in the QBE Formula that existed in FY 2002, the overall situation has been worsened by the significant “austerity reductions” in FY 2003, FY 2004, and FY 2005 and the lack of any recognition for inflation over this period.
8. The financial crisis for Georgia’s schools has become so severe and the prospects for a legislative remedy are so remote that the Consortium has concluded that litigation is the only way left to resolve this issue.
9. The lawsuit will be filed in the Fulton County Superior Court, but the ultimate decision will probably be made by the Georgia Supreme Court. The entire process may take several years. Regardless of the final decision by the courts, the task of implementing a remedy will be in the hands of the Georgia General Assembly.
10. There is a wave of similar litigation across the county, with most of these cases leading to increased state funding for education.
11. The method of financing Georgia’s schools is not based on a direct connection between the desired educational outcomes and the resources needed to achieve these outcomes. As an essential step in this regard, the State should conduct an objective and comprehensive study of the cost of providing an adequate education.
Return to the press release.