Assemblymember William Colton (D-47th AD, Brooklyn) calls Governor Pataki’s incorporation of a proposal to provide tax credits for educational expenses to the state’s working families in his budget a step in the right direction. The Governor, however, clearly misses the mark in more critical areas of the education budget. As part of any discussion of the education budget, the Governor must agree to immediately fully implement the court’s decision in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case and apply it statewide.
“Every public school student should have the opportunity for a quality education no matter where they live in the state,” stated Colton. “The Governor must not only correct the funding formula buy also rectify decades of inequitable funding. We must help those districts who have suffered from inequitable funding under the old formula now!”
Working families should not have to choose between a quality education for their children and being able to put food on their table. Years of inequitable funding to New York City schools, and other districts, have led to disparate educational opportunities for public school students across the State. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity case clearly demonstrated that decades of inequitable funding to New York City schools is responsible for New York City students being denied the opportunity to obtain a sound basic education.
Assemblymember Colton supports a tax credit for educational expenses of working families and has sponsored legislation that would give families tax credits for expenses such as tutoring, educational programs, tuition, purchasing of computers and educational software and other education related expenses. This tax credit will help working families with children in both public and private schools. “This tax credit is a way to help families get the educational opportunities and equipment their children need to succeed and to ensure a bright future for them,” stated Colton.
Assemblymember Colton is calling on the Governor to use his thirty day amendment period to amend his education budget to fully comply with the CFE decision and to apply its principles statewide. “A tax credit is not sufficient by itself to ensure that our children get the quality education they are constitutionally entitled to,” stated Colton. “The Governor must immediately allocate the funding needed to help those districts that suffered for decades from inequitable funding.”