Ceylane Meyers. Buffalo News. 1/27/2002.

I am writing in response to the Jan. 14 letter from a spokesman of the State Division of Budget. He claimed Gov. George Pataki's "efforts on behalf of schools have been unwavering." If this is true, how does the governor justify wasting taxpayer dollars to appeal the Campaign For Fiscal Equity lawsuit, which would bring much-needed funding to the Buffalo Public Schools?

If the governor had implemented the court decision, the Buffalo School District would not be faced with its current budget deficit. The Assembly has shown its commitment to Buffalo's schoolchildren by providing more than $5 million in funding. Senators from the Western New York delegation and the governor have been all talk and no action. They say they want to give money to the school district, but haven't done it. What are they waiting for?

On Jan. 8, the Alliance for Quality Education released a statewide state of the schools report that revealed that the Legislature's 2001 bare-bones budget was bare indeed for Buffalo schools. In fact, state aid for Buffalo schools fell $4.8 million from 2000 to 2001.

Pataki should stop the rhetoric! This is an election year for him. His spin-doctors are trying to paint a picture of Pataki as the education governor. If he really wants to show unwavering support for public schools and get Election Day points, he should stop wasting taxpayer dollars and drop the lawsuit appeal.

CEYLANE MEYERS

Citizen Action of Western New York