Spitzer Responds to Ruling, Avoids Numbers

Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson released a statement applauding today’s court decision which lowered the level of state required funding for city schools, saying, “this decision will help us resolve the litigation.”

Spitzer also said he’ll propose “significant additional funding on a statewide basis,” when presents his first budget in February.

But does this ruling give him an out?

When I asked if the governor-elect will voluntarily bring state school funding for city schools up to $4.7 to $5.6 billion range originally mandated by a lower court — as he promised he would during the campaign — spokesperson Christine Anderson declined to put a number on what Spitzer now plans to spend.

Certainly, the groups that brought the lawsuit won’t let Spitzer get away with any back-sliding without putting up a fight: CFE lawsuit advocates just released a statement reminding anyone who will listen that he “has said that figure should be between $4 and $6 billion for New York City and up to $8.5 billion statewide to provide quality teachers, universal pre-kindergarten, smaller classes and strategies that will prepare our school children for the 21st century.”

– Azi Paybarah

Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson:

“The Court of Appeals has now determined the constitutionally-required amount of funding that must be provided to the New York City school district, and this decision will help us resolve the litigation that was commenced.

As I have repeatedly stated, however, we must provide more statewide funding than this constitutional minimum, so that all of New York’s schoolchildren have the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century workplace.

The Executive Budget that I submit in February will propose significant additional funding on a statewide basis as part of a multi-year plan. This funding will be tied to necessary reforms and accountability provisions to ensure that this money is spent wisely.

I look forward to working with the Legislature and other interested parties to ensure that these funds are provided, so that we can finally address an issue that is so critical to our children and their future.”