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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Mar 14, 2006

Assembly Bill Takes Step in the Right Direction

Multi-year plan to provide sufficient operating aid to high-need schools is unavoidable

The new education bill introduced by Sheldon Silver and passed by the state assembly on Monday sends an important message to state lawmakers: a multi-year plan to provide sufficient operating aid to high-need schools is an unavoidable requirement for complying with the court remedy in the CFE case.

“Assemblyman Silver’s bill is definitely a step in the right direction. It puts targeted operating aid at the forefront of the debate and under serious deliberation by key leaders,” said CFE Executive Director Geri D. Palast.

“Ultimately, the lawsuit sets the standard for a CFE deal. The State Supreme Court has already ruled that New York City’s schools need $5.6 billion in operating aid and $9.2 billion in capital funding. A statewide remedy would require an additional $8.6 billion in operating aid and $10 billion in capital funds,” Palast said.
“We’re committed to seeing the CFE case to its rightful and complete conclusion, and we are encouraged by the recent efforts to push through the irresponsible delay tactics that have deadlocked Albany on this issue for too many years.”

Both the assembly and the state senate appear to provide, though in different ways, the $1.8 billion mandated by the court to fund the first year of its five-year capital plan for New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has fought vigorously for this increase. While CFE supports these efforts, the capital budgets from both houses do not guarantee the full, multi-year funding mandated in the CFE order.

“It’s been thirteen long years of litigating CFE. The courts have spoken, and by now we all know what it takes for the State to meet its obligation to the kids of New York. Today, Albany has shown us that a political roadmap to get there may be on its way,” Palast added.

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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 >