Timeline

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 1z1: 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.