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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Fri, May 16, 2008

Assembly Speaker Silver Introduces Resolution Calling on City to Keep Its Education Funding Promise

Joined by City Council Education Chair Robert Jackson and Education Advocates on Steps of City Hall

On May 16, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver announced an Assembly resolution urging Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to provide the funding increases for city schools that were promised in June 2007. Silver citing the recently enacted state budget, noted that state legislators had “honored our moral obligation”and kept the promise to fund New York City's schools at the level agreed upon for resolving the CFE litigation. Silver was joined by City Council Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson, CFE Executive Director Geri Palast, parents and community leaders.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2008 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver News Release ASSEMBLY.STATE.NY.US CONTACT: Dan Weiller Press Secretary (518) 455-3888
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, members of the Assembly Majority, New York City Council Education Chairman Robert Jackson, and other City Council members, parents of New York City school children and education advocates held an early morning news conference to urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the entire New York City Council to keep the promise. Silver noted the Assembly Majority fought for and won a $622 million increase in Foundation Aid for New York City public schools. Despite the increase, this year Mayor Bloomberg shockingly reduced education spending in New York City by $180 million through mid-year budget cuts. In addition the mayor proposes an additional cut in funding of $324 million for the 2008-09 school year. The lawmakers unveiled an Assembly resolution (K.1745) which demands the restoration of this year’s cuts and urges the Bloomberg administration to keep the promise. “We honored our moral obligation, kept the promise to our school children and with the support of Governor David Paterson, the Assembly Majority delivered to this city historic funding for education. Lawmakers, parents and education advocates have come together today to call upon the Mayor and the City Council to keep the promise by making the investment in education that will keep this city strong and vibrant for decades to come,” said Silver. NYC Councilmember Robert Jackson said, “Fair is fair! Our kids need fair funding. The State kept its promise to our students. I join Speaker Silver in calling on the Mayor and my colleagues in the City Council to ‘Keep the Promise’.” Assembly Education Chair Catherine Nolan said, “We are continuing an important commitment to the children of New York State by providing the educational resources necessary to help them meet higher academic standards. Adequate resources for education mean smaller class sizes better preparation for classroom success and more pre-K programs. By working together we can ensure that our children receive the education they so deserve.” UFT President Randi Weingarten, said, “We in the Keep the Promises Coalition cannot thank Speaker Silver and the Assembly enough for their steadfast commitment to making sure that government honors its pledge to New York City public schools. Despite daunting budget deficits, Speaker Silver worked tirelessly to get the state to go beyond its commitment and actually increase its contribution with over $600 million in new funds for city schools. And now he is going even further by using his bully pulpit and this Assembly resolution to urge the city to follow the state’s lead and keep its promises." Campaign For Fiscal Equity Executive Director Geri Palast said “Speaker Silver and the Assembly led the successful effort to put $2.35 billion over four years, over $600 million this year, in New York City’s classrooms to benefit the neediest kids tied to a strong accountability system in resolution of the CFE litigation. The state kept their promise. We support the Speaker’s call on Mayor Bloomberg to keep his promise and restore $450 million in classroom aid. The new state dollars are to advance kids, not to plug city budgetary holes. Don’t make our kids pay for bad economic times with their futures.” Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton said “Speaker Silver, Assembly Education Chair Nolan and the Assembly Majority provided the leadership in difficult times to keep the state's promise to New York City’s school children. Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts would break the City’s promise to raise the quality of education for every child. Now, with the able leadership of Education Chair Robert Jackson, the City Council must say no to the Mayor's education cuts and yes to keeping the promise.” Zakiyah Ansari, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice Parent Leader said, “Parents fought long and hard to make sure our children receive the resources they deserve. New York State, led by Speaker Sheldon Silver, kept their promise. Now, we will continue to fight to demand that the Mayor and the City Council keep their promise to our children as well.” Council of School Supervisors & Administrators President Ernest Logan said, “I would like to thank Speaker Sheldon Silver and members of the Assembly for recognizing the importance of education and the city’s responsibility to fulfill their financial commitment to our schools. Adequate funding for New York City’s public education system is essential to New York’s livelihood. Our schools have been doing more with less for years and it’s time we were afforded the resources necessary to provide our children with the sound, equitable education they deserve.” The following is the wording for Assembly Legislative Resolution (K.1745) which is expected to be on the floor of the Assembly next week. LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION urging the Mayor and the City Council of the City of New York to restore a $180 million mid-year budget cut for the 2007- 08 school year and to maintain funding to the department of education for the 2008-09 school year, as originally committed in the New York City budget for fiscal year 2008 WHEREAS, Funding for New York City's public education system is of critical importance to the economic viability of New York City and New York State and funding for education must continue to be a budgetary priority; and WHEREAS, In Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State, the New York State Court of Appeals held that funding for education must ensure that every school in New York City has the resources necessary for providing students with the opportunity to receive a sound basic education; and WHEREAS, The enacted budgets for State fiscal years 2007-08 and 2008- 09 contained an historic increase in education funding that reflects the Legislature's dedication to providing a quality education for all of New York's children; and WHEREAS, The State is maintaining its important commitment to New York City's school children by providing additional funds to New York City schools through State Foundation Aid and recently provided New York City with an historic level of education funding through Foundation Aid including a $470 million increase in school year 2007-08 and a $622 million increase in school year 2008-09; and WHEREAS, The State has lived up to its commitment to increase education funding, pursuant to chapter 57 of the laws of 2007, the City of New York now must uphold its commitment to fund New York City's public schools by increasing the City amount of education spending by no less than $2.2 billion by the 2010-2011 school year; and WHEREAS, The Mayor of the City of New York reduced education spending for the 2007-08 schoolyear by $180 million through a mid-year budget cut to the department of education; and WHEREAS, The New York City Executive Budget for fiscal year 2009 proposes reductions totaling a $324 million cut to the department of education for the school year 2008-09; and WHEREAS, As a result of the Mayor's $180 million mid-year budget cut in the 2007-08 school year and the $324 million reduction in education spending proposed by the New York City Executive Budget for fiscal year 2009, the City of New York fails to meet the funding commitment contained in its 2008 fiscal year budget; and WHEREAS, These reductions cause concern that an additional City amount of $2.2 billion will not be provided by the 2010-2011 school year, as well as erodes the progress that has been made to improve the quality of education in New York City's schools by shortchanging New York City's school children; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to urge the Mayor and the City Council of the City of New York to uphold the commitment to New York City's school children by restoring the $180 million mid-year budget cut imposed on the department of education for the 2007-08 school year and by maintaining education funding for the 2008-09 school year as originally contained in the New York City budget fiscal year 2008, adopted in June 2007, to completely restore the $324 million reduction in education spending proposed by the New York City Executive Budget for fiscal year 2009; and be it further RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the Mayor and the City Council of the City of New York.

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >