From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Steve Sanders • Chair, Education Committee
Assembly Majority to Governor and Senate:
Don’t turn your backs on the future of our children
Governor’s missed deadlines mean missed opportunities
We face a July 30 deadline to satisfy a court ruling requiring the state to provide children with a sound, basic education. Yet, the governor has repeatedly dragged his feet to find a solution to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) ruling by:
The consequences of continued delay are serious. Without a timely agreement, the court will appoint a special master who may impose a solution addressing only New York City’s schools – leaving hundreds of schools in the rest of the state out in the cold. It would be a disgrace to miss this opportunity to provide a quality education for the children of New York State.
Senator Bruno walks away from an obligation to our children
To say that only New York City children deserve a sound, basic education is absurd. But that’s just what Senator Joe Bruno is doing by suggesting the governor and Legislature should give up and let the state courts decide New York’s school aid formula. Senator Bruno and the governor may be ready to throw in the towel, but the Assembly Majority is not.
Weighing the needs of nearly 700 school districts is a difficult task, but that doesn’t mean our children should suffer. The CFE court order has to be dealt with – so it’s a question of whether the judge will order a decision that only benefits New York City, or if we will come up with a school funding formula that addresses the needs of all our school children.
It’s not only a constitutional obligation, but a moral obligation to equip our children to deal with tomorrow’s challenges. In finding a solution we must not take a “Robin Hood” approach that gives resources to some schools at the expense of others. Investing in all New York schools is the rising tide that will lift all boats – giving all our children the opportunity to succeed.
Seizing the moment for our students and taxpayers
The Assembly is committed to finding a solution to the CFE decision that:
The Assembly Majority roundly rejects placing the burden on the shoulders of property-taxpayers by adopting mandatory property tax hikes. In fact, last year the Assembly, working with our partners in the Senate, passed a bipartisan budget to prevent a statewide average 20 percent property tax hike.
Investing in education now
The children and families of New York State expect the Legislature to make the right choices and protect their best interests, including providing a top-notch education for all children. As the challenge to meet the recent Court of Appeals decision unfolds, the Assembly will fight to help schools across the state provide students with the skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow - because a well-trained work force will attract businesses that create good-paying jobs.
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