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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Mon, Nov 3, 2003

CFE Encouraged By New York City's Call For $13 Billion For School Buildings

CFE and Advocates Across State Demand Immediate “Down Payment”

The Department of Education and the City Council have agreed that approximately $13 billion must be spent over the next five years to provide the new classrooms, science labs, computer technology, and decent facilities that New York City's children need in order to obtain a sound basic education. This is double the amount allocated in the current five-year capital plan.

"We are encouraged by the City's prompt response to the Court of Appeals' order in CFE v. State of New York, their focus on the real needs of students, and their commitment to greater efficiency,” stated Michael A. Rebell, CFE's Executive Director and Counsel. "We call upon the Governor and the State Legislature to reform the state's antiquated building aid formula, and to provide sufficient financial support promptly to begin to rectify deplorable classrooms and buildings where children struggle to learn.”

“For too long, state building aid has been divorced from educational goals. We need an immediate down payment to meet the needs of New York City's school children, who should not have to wait another five years to obtain their constitutional rights."

CFE has formed a sound basic education task force which will review the Chancellor's proposal, and which will propose sweeping reforms to the state's building aid formulas in order to meet the capital funding needs of New York City and other high need districts around the State.

In its landmark decision in CFE v. State of New York last June, the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, held that the State's current system for funding public education is unconstitutional, and it specifically cited overcrowding, excessive class sizes, inadequate science labs and computer technology, as major factors in denying students in New York City their constitutional right to the opportunity for a sound basic education.

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 >