School Ruling: Drop Dead Or Good Start?
November 21st, 2006

There is a range of reactions to the ruling by the New York Court Of Appeals in the Campaign For Fiscal Equity lawsuit to provide New York City schoolchildren with enough funds for a sound basic education – as evidence in two headlines: School Ruling Is A Real Start (Newsday editorial) and High Court To NYC Kids: Drop Dead (Daily Gotham blog)

The second is closer in tone to most local editorials. In that Daily Gotham post, Daniel Millstone writes that “public schools in New York City will continue to be underfunded. Even worse, the Court of Appeals has declined to enforce its decision. No further judicial action is required, as I read it, because, it is beyond the court’s power to enforce its judgment on the Governor and legislature. It is odd to discover that the Court has embraced the idea that our children have rights which it will not enforce.”

The editorial in the Daily News (scroll down past O.J. editorial) also had little positive to say about the ruling : “ After 13 years of litigation, after declaring that New York must provide a “sound basic education” to children, after concluding that the state had failed miserably to do so, the state’s highest court, lacking the courage of its convictions, yesterday issued the legal equivalent of “never mind.” But some good has come out of this case: “as a direct result of this litigation, Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer campaigned on a promise to increase funding for the city schools by $4 billion to $6 billion a year – a commitment that he must now keep, court order or no court order.”

The editorial in El Diario, entitled Short of Full Justice, concludes: “We can’t go from cheating poor children to offering the bare minimum. Our children deserve a full, not half, measure of justice. It’s up to Spitzer and the legislature, with our nudging, to deliver.”

But the New York Post praises the court ruling: “At last: Judicial restraint in a New York court.”

And The New York Sun uses the court ruling to argue, as the paper has in the past, that the money won’t do anything to improve the schools, and that parents should be given tax credits to apply towards private-school tuition.

By on November 21, 2006, 4:56 am
In category: Albany,Education,Gotham City,Public Finance | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “School Ruling: Drop Dead Or Good Start?”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    November 21st, 2006 at 9:25 am

    Whether $2 billion is enough depends on spending in the rest of the state. If if falls, then perhaps.

    But if NYC residents continue to have to pay more state taxes to fund “property tax relief” to offset the high and rising level of spending elsewhere, and the gap between NYC funding and that of the rest of the state increases, then no, it isn’t enough.

    That’s the choice. NYC children and other state children, and NYC taxpayers and other taxpayers, are not separate species who should always be spoken of separately, to the detriment of the former.

  2. ALL CITY » The Last Word in School Funding? Says:
    November 27th, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    […] For many of those seeking more money for schools, the new ruling presents a clear disappointment. If the money is phased in over three to four years — something the court did not preclude — the total figure “would be much closer to the amounts by which the state and city have been increasing school funding in recent years anyway,” wrote David Shaffer of the Business Council of New York State. […]

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