ALBANY -- The state's highest court is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 32 parents of students in 11 small-city school districts challenging New York's system for funding public education and saying their children are getting shortchanged.

The lawsuit, claiming a constitutional right to a sound, basic education, is similar to the approach New York City schools took in getting billions of dollars more in operating and capital funds from the state after a 10-year legal fight.

The Court of Appeals, in a 6-1 ruling that upheld lower courts, is rejecting the state argument that 2007 funding reforms make the new lawsuit moot since it was based on old data.

Those changes in state aid, meant to increase funding for schools statewide, have been limited by budget problems.

Meanwhile, state courts have dismissed the claim by victims of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos for more than $35 million from a U.S. brokerage account, citing the competing claim by the Philippine government upheld by its own highest court.

The Court of Appeals says the state's courts for now "should not intercede" in a case that remains within the province of Philippine national sovereignty.

If the assets belong to that country's people, also victimized by the Marcos government that was overthrown in 1986, the court says the assets should be returned.

Marcos was sued in U.S. federal court in Hawaii, where he fled, on behalf of some 10,000 victims of arrest, torture and execution. The plaintiffs obtained a nearly $2 billion judgment after he died and now seek related assets.

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