May 27, 2004
Governor: Schools need reform, not just more money
"Reforms and accountability" must be part of the response to a Court of Appeals decision on funding for New York City schools, Governor Pataki said in releasing his proposed response to the court ruling.
The Governor proposed increasing total funding for the state's public schools by $8 billion, including federal aid, over five years. Most of the new money would go to high-need schools in New York City and elsewhere. New York City would devote $1.5 billion in additional local funding as part of the plan, which would provide a total increase of $4.7 billion to the city's schools.
"This is an extraordinary commitment to the public education of our children on top of what has already been an extraordinary commitment of public funding for the education of our children," the Governor said. "Which is why it can't just be about dollars. It's got to be about reforms and accountability. We spend more per capita than any school district in the country."
The Governor's proposal assumes $2 billion in new federal aid over the period.
Additional state aid totaling $4.5 billion would come from expected increases in revenue from economic growth, and from new gambling facilities in several locations around the state.
"I'm not going to support tax increases," the Governor said. He challenged the Assembly, which has not released specifics of its school-finance proposal, to rule out tax increases as well.