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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Mon, Jan 29, 2007

CFE Giver Gov. Spitzer's Education Plan High Marks

Advocacy group says Spitzer signals commitment to fully fund New York schools

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), the organization that successfully sued New York State for fair and adequate statewide education funding with strong accountability measures, today hailed Gov. Spitzer's newly unveiled education plan, calling it a blueprint for fixing the state's public school system.

Geri Palast, Executive Director of CFE, said: "The Governor’s Contract for Excellence is a historic commitment to restructure the State's school funding mechanism, to implement proven educational strategies, to put more well-qualified teachers in classrooms from Syracuse to Staten Island, to reduce class sizes, to expand universal pre-kindergarten programs, and to give the neediest schools in the City and State the money required to make these reforms work."

Palast strongly supports the Governor’s accountability proposal: “The Governor’s call for financial, programmatic and performance accountability mirrors the litigation and is essential for success. We must set clear performances measures, provide necessary supports and interventions, and there must be consequences for failure. Accountability must run from top to bottom—superintendents, principals and teachers. And we are gratified that the Governor has agreed with CFE that parents and the public must be active participants in the process.”

Palast is optimistic that the Governor’s plan announced today to fully fund the schools over the next four years will be matched by his budget announcement Wednesday, hitting the mark promised on the campaign trail of between $4-6 billion for New York City and up to $8.5 billion statewide.

"We're extremely encouraged by what Governor Spitzer said today and we will fight every day of this legislative session to make sure that these proposals become law. Then the movement for educational excellence will be able to leave litigation and legislation behind in order to focus on the accountable implementation of school reform.”

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 >