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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Wed, Jul 26, 2006

Spitzer Makes Commitment To Resolve CFE and Bring Court-Ordered Funds to NYC Schools; Suozzi Proposal Woefully Inadequate

Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes Plan that would Provide Adequate Education Funding Increases

Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Eliot Spitzer indicated in last night’s debate that he was committed to resolving the CFE v. State lawsuit. During the debate, Mr. Spitzer described his proposed budget savings plan that would be an essential part of funding a CFE settlement. The plan would result in education increases that are within the court-ordered range of $4.7 billion to $5.6 billion for New York City’s schools, phased in over a four-year period.

Candidate for Governor Tom Suozzi said in the debate that he would commit just $2.5 billion to the city’s schools to resolve the case, far below the court-mandated requirements.

“We’re pleased that Eliot Spitzer’s comments reflect an understanding of the case and the financial resources that it takes to bring urgently needed improvements to New York City’s schools within the court-ordered range of $4.7 to $5.6 billion. Tom Suozzi’s statement that a $2.5 billion increase would resolve CFE reflects a shocking level of ignorance of the court decisions and of the educational needs of New York City’s children. Mr. Suozzi’s statements reflect his unwillingness to bring full funding and fundamental reforms to the city’s schools,” said CFE Executive Director Geri Palast.

The long-running CFE case is currently on appeal before the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. In March, a state appellate court ordered the governor and the legislature to add at least $4.7 billion to the education budget for operating aid to bring New York City’s schools up to constitutional standards. In response, the State added substantial increases to fund capital construction costs this year but failed to budget the operating aid dollars and accountability reforms the city needs to run schools effectively.

In April, CFE filed its appeal to the Court of Appeals to ensure full compliance. Oral arguments in the case have been set down for October 10. CFE is anticipating a final and enforceable order from the highest court this year that will bring a resolution to the case.

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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 >