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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Jan 18, 2005

Governor Pataki's 2005-2006 Executive Budget Merely Rehashes Last Year's Inadequate Proposals for Education

CFE calls for Governor to "complete unfinished business" in education

Although promising to lay out a “forward looking” executive budget for 2005-2006, Governor Pataki’s education budget, released today, is an almost exact repeat of his proposed education increases for 2004-2005. This year’s budget calls for a total increase for education of $526 million and is comprised of $201 million for traditional school aid and $325 million for a new Sound Basic Education (SBE) program. His SBE increase is the exact, trivial sum that he proposed last year and again falls short of the funding that New York schools need to provide their children the education they deserve. New York City schools would get 60 percent of the total SBE amount, providing the city with $195 million for 2005-2006, instead of the $1.4 billion called for by the court-appointed panel of judicial referees.

“Our children need creative, bold thinking from our leaders—not a tired, rehashing of last year’s inadequate proposals that were soundly rejected by the legislature and by the court-appointed panel. The state is now in its sixth month of defying the Court of Appeals’ deadline. The governor needs to step up to the plate and propose a solution to the current constitutional impasse now—for the future of our kids and for the future of our state,” said CFE Executive Director and Counsel Michael A. Rebell.

The governor’s proposed budget comes on the heels of the final recommendations of the court-appointed panel, who concluded in their November 30 report that New York City schools need an additional $5.6 billion in operating aid over a four-year period, or $1.4 billion for 2005-2006, and an additional $9.2 billion in facilities funding, to be phased-in over five years.

In his budget address, Governor Pataki admitted that the funding system is “broken and unfair” and urged its replacement with a “statewide solution that will provide every child with a quality education.”

To ensure a meaningful remedy this year, CFE is currently working with a task force representing a diverse coalition of statewide organizations to transform the panel's recommendations into a statewide reform bill that will be introduced shortly with broad-based, statewide support. CFE will push to have this bill enacted into law this spring.

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 >