Close to ninety residents turned out for an education forum sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef at Cortlandt Town Hall last night to learn about the impact of the recent New York City court case on our local school districts.
The Court said that the state’s method of school funding in New York City does not provide the sound, basic education required by the state Constitution and gave the state until July 2004 to come up with a solution. The case was initiated by a New York City based organization called the Campaign For Fiscal Equity (CFE).
Galef moderated a panel with divergent views on how to deal with the court ruling. Panel members included Jessica Garcia, Outreach Director for the CFE, Timothy Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School Board Association, Chuck Szuberla, Coordinator of School Operations and Management for the Education Department, David Shaffer, President of the Public Policy Institute of the Business Council of New York State, and Sol Stern, Fellow of the Manhattan Institute For Policy Research in New York City.
After the meeting, Galef summed up: "There seemed to be agreement by many in the audience that more funding needs to go to the needier school districts in New York City and even in my own 90th Assembly District. However, it was equally clear to me that people are concerned about how money is allocated and the need for accountability on all levels when it comes to spending tax dollars. To me this is just the start of many discussions on this issue, with a need for all points of view to be heard before a sensible and just solution is determined by the members of the legislature and the Governor."
The event was co-sponsored by eighteen community groups. For follow-up information please contact the Assemblywoman at 914-941-1111.