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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Thu, Mar 1, 2007

Education Advocates Launch Campaign Calling on Senate Majority to Support Governor's Education Budget

Groups release school aid numbers by Senate District and call on Senators to sign to commit full-funding for the Governor's four-year education plan

Education advocates called on nine members of the State Senate majority whose districts would receive significant education funding increases to provide the leadership needed to enact Governor Spitzer's education budget. The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) released a new analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute detailing how each Senate district benefits under the Governor’s education reform plan.
At the news conference, AQE and CFE unveiled an oversized check for each of the key senators to sign. Each check was written from New York State to the children of the senator’s district. The only thing missing on the checks were the senators’ signatures.

If adopted, Governor Spitzer’s budget would provide dramatic school aid increases over the next four years to the schools in each senator’s district. These include upstate and Long Island Senators Joseph Robach (R-Greece--$193 million); John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse--$157 million); Hugh Farley (R-Niskayuna--$137 million) Caesar Trunzo (R-Hauppauge--$157 million); Owen Johnson (R-Babylon--$147 million). New York City Senators Serphin Maltese(R-Queens), Frank Padavan(R-Queens), Martin Golden(R-Brooklyn) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) have the opportunity to bring $3.2 billion to the schools of New York City.

“The State Senate majority has always drawn a line in the sand in opposition to any foundation formula reform driven by need," said Billy Easton, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “This is a new day in Albany. We are working with constituents in these districts to make their voices heard, and we are calling on these senators to put the needs of the children in their districts ahead of yesterday's partisan battles. School children need their senators to provide the leadership to enact this budget, and bring these signed checks home to their schools."

“We are at an historic turning point—we can fulfill the promise of CFE and ensure that every public school child in New York State has access to a sound basic education by assuring an adequate investment through a fair foundation formula based on need,” said Geri Palast, Executive Director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. “Every district benefits through this infusion of funds. These senators represent school districts where the needs are great, and the Governor’s proposal makes sure those demands are met now and in the future. They can make the difference. ”

“Governor Spitzer has proposed an historic $7 billion new investment in public schools across New York State over the next four years along with groundbreaking new accountability standards and a new need-based school aid formula. The State Assembly has consistently supported similar reforms in each of the last three years,” said Easton.
Over the next month, the grassroots effort to secure the support of these senators for the full education funding, accountability and formula reform provisions included in Governor Spitzer’s education budget will include town hall meetings, rallies, bus tours, and more in each of these senate districts.

Some of the events being planned include a March 8th town hall meeting in Queens, a March 17th car caravan in Schenectady and Amsterdam, a New York City wide bus tour on March 17th, a March 20th rally on Long Island and a March 22nd town hall meeting in Rochester. The complete list of events can be found at

Thursday’s news conference came on Day 60 of the “100 Days to Educational Excellence Campaign,” a statewide campaign to secure increased educational aid to needy districts across New York State along with a revised school aid formula and stronger accountability standards.

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 >