Midstate School Finance Consortium . 03/2004.


March 11, 2004




Mr. Frank Zarb

Chairman

New York State Commission on Education Reform

Agency Building 4, 8th Floor

Empire State Plaza

Albany, NY  12224


Dear Chairman Zarb:


The recommendations of the Commission on Education Reform will likely determine the State’s approach to education funding for decades to come.


While it would be virtually impossible to address the CFE decision by the Court of Appeals without spending more money, more money alone will not remedy the current problem.


We strongly urge you to recommend a new school aid formula that embodies the principles of equity, adequacy, simplicity, flexibility, and predictability.  


Any remedy to the CFE lawsuit must recognize the fact that the existing $14.6 billion presently being spent by the State through a badly broken system is poorly serving all our children.   No one understands the current system, not school administrators, elected school board members, or the general public.  It is rife with inequities and inconsistencies.  And it is totally unpredictable from year to year.  It is impossible to understand or administer.


Educational leaders must have the tools they need to meet the unique needs of their students and communities.  The existing aid system does not and cannot accomplish this. Only a new system for all districts can provide the predictability, flexibility, simplicity, and equity that our children and taxpayers need and demand.


We appreciate your contribution to public education.  Thank you for considering our views.


Sincerely,


Brandon Gordon

Brandon Gordon

Executive Director

bgordon@midstateonline.org


Cc: Daniel Kinley, Executive Director