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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Wed, Jan 28, 2009

CFE Testifies Before Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees

Statement of Geri D. Palast, Executive Director, Campaign for Fiscal Equity

“The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) believes the Governor’s proposal to cut $2.5 billion from New York’s classrooms is bad economics. In addition to a budget deficit, there is an education deficit that by law and long term economics must be one of the state’s top priorities. The Legislature must construct a budget based on this comprehensive view of the deficit. New York’s public school children have lived with the education deficit for over 15 years as documented in the CFE litigation. It severely imperils the ability of our children to become skilled and productive contributors to our society. The 2007 Education Budget and Reform Act provided the four year timeline and financial commitment to address this education deficit. While CFE recognizes that we face tough budget challenges, the Legislature must not tolerate changes to the funding baseline set last year, 2008-2009, and must take extraordinary steps to make good on this year’s commitment despite the economic downturn. The proposed federal stimulus prioritizes education. Those funds must be taken into account along with additional deficit reduction funds that could come from increasing the personal income tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers. We simply cannot afford to increase the education deficit. It will put us back where we started and undermine New York’s capacity to provide its students with their constitutionally mandated sound basic educations. Compliance with this constitutional mandate is a legal, economic and moral necessity. This should be the bottom-line factor in all budget decisions.”

]CFE’s full testimony


Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >