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Campaign for Fiscal Equity
 

GOVERNOR & AG SEEK TO LIMIT POWER OF SPECIAL MASTER

On July 30, the Office of the New York State Attorney General submitted a letter to Justice Leland DeGrasse of the State Supreme Court on behalf of Governor Pataki, opposing CFE's request that the court-appointed special master(s) promptly develop a compliance plan to meet the state's obligations under the Court of Appeals' mandate in CFE v. State. Justice Leland DeGrasse is expected to appoint one or three special masters at a court hearing on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Because the governor and the legislature have proved incapable of developing a compliance plan by the court's July 30, 2004 deadline, CFE has argued that the court has constitutional responsibility to take prompt action. Specifically, CFE has proposed that the court direct the special master(s) to review the extensive reform proposals submitted by the plaintiffs and other documents the court deems appropriate, and develop a suitable compliance plan within 90 days.

Purporting to speak on behalf of the state of New York, the attorney general's letter argued that the court should only consider the "state's plan." The "state's plan" was defined in the letter as the recommendations set forth by the Governor's Commission on Education Reform (the Zarb Commission) and the governor's legislative proposals. Both the Zarb Commission report and the governor's legislation were explicitly rejected by the assembly, and neither has been formally adopted by the senate.

CFE intends to argue before the court during the August 3 hearing that the governor should not be permitted to assert that the State's position is his own position, when that position has been rejected by the legislature. The hearing is open to the public and will commence at 2:00 P.M. at the State Supreme Court building in New York City.


August 2, 2004



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 >