Senators Dean Skelos, Kemp Hannon, Carl Marcellino and Charles Fuschillo joined Senator Balboni at today's press conference urging the governor to appeal a decision
New York State Assemblyman Tom Alfano was one of Nassau lawmakers who applauded the decision by Governor George Pataki to appeal the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision of State Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse to the Appellate Division.
DeGrasse affirmed the recommendations of the panel of judicial referees and ordered the governor and the legislature to provide New York City's schools an additional $5.6 billion for operating expenses over four years and $9.2 billion for facilities.
Alfano maintains that the Robin Hood approach to taking money from Long Island schools and giving it to city schools is not fair since taxpayers in his district are already overburdened.
New York State Senator Michael Balboni and other state Senators from Nassau County also called on Governor George Pataki to appeal a court decision they say will penalize Long Island taxpayers and shortchange Long Island schools.
Senators Dean Skelos, Kemp Hannon, Carl Marcellino and Charles Fuschillo joined Balboni at a press conference urging the governor to appeal a decision made Monday by State Supreme Court Judge Leland DeGrasse. If the ruling stands, the state will direct billions of state tax dollars to New York City schools.
"Children in New York City deserve a sound, basic education, but not at the expense of children who receive a sound education on Long Island," Senator Balboni said.
Judge DeGrasse's ruling agreed with court-appointed panel's recommendation that the state provide New York City schools with an additional $14.8 billion over the next five years. The state has the option to either pay or appeal the decision within 30 days. If the decision stands, Long Island will receive about half the future state aid they would receive under traditional funding formulas.
According to the Nassau Senators, inadequate contributions from New York City taxpayers are responsible for funding deficiencies in the city schools and should be the ones to absorb the burden.
"Long Island taxpayers have demonstrated their commitment to sound education with their wallets. And those same taxpayers - particularly the ones from my district - have had to bear the brunt of reassessment and increases in real property taxes," Senator Balboni said.
"It's time we did something for the Long Island real property taxpayer," Senator Balboni said. "Asking them to give more is simply wrong."
(The letter by New York State Assemblyman Tom Alfano and other Assembly members applauding the governor's decision to appeal the decision can be found in the Letters to the Editor of this newspaper.)