From the NYS Assembly · Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Steven Sanders · Chair, Education Committee
Patakiís failed leadership and policies are undermining our schools
When the governor took office, he stated, "let me tell you flat out, we arenít going to give . . . any school district in the state more money in 1995." Eight years later, he proved that his failing education policy had not changed when he asserted that an eighth grade education is sufficient to meet the needs of our students.
The governorís neglect of our schools has now come back to haunt us. The Court of Appeals ruled that the current school aid system fails to provide New Yorkís children with the basic education that is guaranteed to them under the state constitution and which is the stateís moral obligation to deliver.
Although the court issued its landmark ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) case in June, the governor waited months to appoint a study commission. Whatís more, he intentionally set a March deadline for recommendations on the issue to avoid putting a plan in his budget. This should come as no surprise, since throughout his term in office, the governor has undermined education standards by:
The Assembly is committed to ensuring every school district receives the resources it needs to provide a quality education
Because of the CFE ruling, the governor can no longer ignore our schoolsí needs. Money wonít solve all our schoolsí problems, but by providing sufficient resources we can begin to address the barriers to a quality education. And by increasing accountability we can make sure resources are used effectively.
We must provide students with the skills they need ó in safe and up-to-date classrooms ó so they can compete for the jobs of tomorrow. It is time for the governor to recognize that improving schools across the state will improve economic opportunities and attract businesses that create good-paying jobs.
The Assembly has a strong record of supporting education
Despite the governorís attempts to undermine our schools, the Assembly has consistently fought to provide a quality education that doesnít burden property taxpayers by:
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