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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spitzer's School Budget Has Not Yet Passed

Those of us who, like me, wanted much more from Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposed plan for public school spending should remember that his proposal is still just that. It hasn't passed and faces interesting opposition in the NY State Senate.

The GOP-controlled state senate's budget bill includes much, much, more money for education (More $500 million more) most of it designed to go to rich NY State districts. The Spitzer proposal, while it increases the amount of cash for every district in New York State, changes the funding formula so that poorer districts in need get more than richer districts not in need. Senator Bruno calls this "class warfare" and, in a way, he's right. Because of the intensely political way state money has been given out in NYS, people residing in poorer school districts pay much higher tax rates (for worse schools) than people in wealthier districts (for better ones). People in NYC, especially, pay for the better schools in NYC suburbs.

While, in my view, the Spitzer proposal does not properly ensure smaller class sizes and panders to Mr. Bloomberg's penchant for random reorganization of the schools (by helping to pay for it) it does address the past unfairness of the funding formula.

On St. Patrick's Day, this Saturday, those campaigning for passage of the Spitzer budget, notably the Alliance for Quality Education will demonstrate at the offices of GOP State Senators Padavan, Golden & Maltese. Get a schedule, bus to the demonstrations, or leafets, or for more information call AQE at 718-222-1089 or Email Although I think victory on class size is crucial and has not yet been won, I think that Governor Spitzer's budget is a good, if imperfect, step. So I'll be there, Saturday. Will You?


Patrick Sullivan said...

Have Padavan, Maltese and Golden said why they oppose reducing class sizes in NYC? Even Joe Bruno has said they're too high, why do our own Senators oppose what public school parents want most?

Daniel Millstone said...

I am told Padavan & Maltese have claimed they favor forcing Mr. Bloomberg to reduce class size and have promised to help. As of this typing, no help has emerged. About Mr. Golden's position, I know nothing at this time. If I have time, I'll call his office tomorrow.

NYC Educator said...

Yuk. This guy Maltese is responsible for busting two Catholic school teacher unions. While I hope he forces Bloomberg to reduce class size, I still kind of hope something very unpleasant finds its way into his breakfast cereal.