Campaign for Fiscal Equity Releases Letter Calling for New York State to Comply with Statewide CFE Commitments

February 16, 2012
Assemblywoman Clark, Members of the NYS Black Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, Grassroots Community Organizations and Teachers Unions Call for Increased School Aid and Investments in our children’s future instead of Competitive
Albany – Grassroots community based organizations, teachers unions and members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, urged the Governor to consider removing the competitive grants proposal and instead appropriate said funds to fulfill the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) Commitment. “Every time I have met with the Governor this year whether in a group setting or alone, the issue of CFE has been broached, remarked Assemblywoman Clark, who currently chairs the Education committee of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. She continued, “every moment lost due to inaction is time that will never be recovered at the detriment of our kids, how much more loss and damage can our kids sustain? We fought the legal battle for thirteen long years and won. We need to honor the Court of Appeals decision and fund our Children’s public education, which is the only way it will be fair and equitable.”

School districts are reeling from years of expenditure reductions, despite this year’s increase to education aid proposed by the Executive, there continues to be a direct conflict with the ruling rendered by New York Court of Appeals in 2007. The Executive has proposed to increase school aid by 4% or $805 million, with a significant portion of the increase designated to high needs school districts, still, this falls woefully short of the CFE commitment.

Over the past several years as a result of the economic recession, revenue shortfalls, and the need to curtail spending, the education budget has seen expenditure reduction after reduction. The decision rendered by the New York Court of Appeals in 2007 ordered policymakers set investments in high needs school districts as a priority. In 2007 there was an initial $1.1 billion CFE investment. The following year a second investment of $1.2 billion was made. In the third year, school aid was frozen with no increase. In the fourth and fifth year, the education budget was cut by $2.7 billion with the most devastating impact being felt by children in the high needs school. According to Assemblywoman Clark (D – Queens Village), “as the only legislators that testified during the CFE lawsuit, on behalf of our children, it is completely disconcerting that the commitment imposed by the court continues to be violated, and high-needs children continue get the short end of the stick. We have to do better going forward and I will continue to fight to ensure that the children of New York City are given the tools and skills necessary to succeed”.

Please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN2lPHXjXp4 to learn more about Assemblywoman Clark’s position on the state’s commitment to the CFE agreement.