Walt Gardner. New York Times. 7/2/2003.

To the Editor:

Re "State Underfinancing Damages City Schools, New York Court Finds" (front page, June 27):

The ruling by the Court of Appeals demolishes the argument made over the years by critics of public education that no connection exists between money and outcomes.

There's no guarantee, of course, that increased financing will result in better student performance, but without sweeping changes, education quality will continue to depend for the most part on where students live.

If that were not the case, why do parents with money send their children to expensive private schools, or move to the suburbs, where teachers are well paid, classes are small and equipment, books and supplies are plentiful? What the ruling did was to legally validate what educators and parents have pragmatically maintained for far too long.

WALT GARDNER
Los Angeles, June 27, 2003

The writer taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District.