The sign-on petition has left the North Country and is beginning to help us move toward a key goal: Building statewide alliances with parents and others in districts that are being hit by inequity.
The number of signers is edging up to 2000!
If you have not signed, and wish to do so, click here! When you are done, forward it to your contacts and the contact lists of community service, local government, and other civic organizations that will undoubtedly be impacted by the economic blow dealt by inequitable funding policies.
Assemblywoman Russell is planning to re-introduce her school aid reform bill in the assembly. With our support and the calls of people in communities throughout the state (contact people you know in other parts of the state on this so they can call on their legislators to support this) she has some tools with which to build a coalition of legislators serving areas with similar issues.
NOTE: We need a sponsor in the State Senate, too!!! We are hoping that a State Senator will take action on this.
Today in the New York Times, it was reported that the Campaign for Fiscal Equity demanded that the Governor and State Legislature fund education equitably. If not, the CFE, which won a previous judgment on this issue, is preparing for litigation. To quote from the article:
In a sharply worded letter to the governor and legislative leaders sent this week, the group, which was started by parents and education advocates, said “the state’s underfunding of our public schools is so severe that it amounts to a violation of its constitutional obligation to provide New York’s children with adequate education resources.”
David G. Sciarra, who runs the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, said in an interview that “we always try to press the governor and the Legislature to step up to the plate without the need for there to be litigation,” but he added, “If there’s a need for additional litigation, no one should doubt that we would do that.”
The response from the Governor`s office?
In a statement, Allison Gollust, a spokeswoman for the governor, said, “The facts on the governor’s priorities for education are clear — last year he invested an additional $800 million in our schools, despite a multibillion deficit, and prioritized low-income districts with a spending formula that gives them a higher percentage of state aid.”
It is becoming apparent to others that the Governor is passing the buck, which might appear to be fiscally responsible, but which is in reality economically ruinous to areas out of sight of the capitol. As Brian Mann asks in his blog on NCPR, `Will Cuomo`s tough line on tax hikes bear scrutiny?` Municipalities of all sorts throughout the state are suffering. Counties are grappling with the prospect of huge tax increases coupled with painful cuts in services, but not much help from the state in either funding or mandate relief.