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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Wed, Mar 29, 2006

$11.2 Billion Increase in Capital Aid to Schools Is Significant But Only Part of the Solution

CFE Remains Committed to Securing Court-Mandated Operating Aid

The legislature’s decision last night to budget the court-mandated increases for capital construction costs has made significant progress in delivering to New York’s public schools their long-overdue support, but it is only halfway toward a full remedy.

The funding increases are the latest progression in the 13-year court battle waged by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) to ensure all children their constitutional right to a sound basic education. They are the result of the collective campaign pursued by CFE, the mayor, and other advocates to ensure fair funding in this year’s budget.

The budget decision in Albany came on the heels of the Appellate Court’s ruling last week, which directed the State to budget a minimum of $4.7 billion in operating aid and $9.2 billion for capital costs by this year’s April 1 budget deadline.

“It’s a big victory for CFE and the schoolchildren of this state to see the legislature finally start to respond to court orders, but it is still only a half-step toward full compliance,” said CFE Executive Director Geri D. Palast. “This construction money is a significant first step, but it’s not enough. Our schools need operating monies desperately, and we will continue to press the case until the court-mandated operating aid starts to flow and the constitutional violation at the heart of our case is fully corrected.”

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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 >