Cara Matthews. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. 4/19/2006.
A group that won a landmark court ruling for more school aid to New York City filed an appeal Tuesday, asking the court to compel the Legislature and Gov. George Pataki to spend a specific amount and develop a timetable for doing so.
Rochester school officials have long hoped that a vast increase in aid to New York City schools would lead to significantly more money for the other big-city districts Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.
A mid-level state appeals court on March 23 ordered Albany to provide between $4.7 billion and $5.6 billion annually in operating funds for New York City, phased in over four years, and $9.2 billion over five years for capital improvements.
The judges gave a range because they said they didn't have the authority to direct the legislative and executive branches to spend an exact amount. The Legislature and Pataki then decided to spend the full amount in capital funding, but they bumped up operating funds by only about $400 million in 2006-07.
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity wants the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, to rule on the power of the judiciary to enforce the decision, said Michael Rebell, a lawyer for the group.
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, Rensselaer County, said he still prefers the issue be resolved by the Legislature, not the courts.