Local pol calls on state to pay longstanding debt to city schools

With his own alma maters owed over $4 million in state funding, Councilmember Justin Brannan is calling on local officials to meet funding levels mandated for New York City public schools that have been languishing for at least a decade despite the hard work of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE).

“Every New York child deserves a quality education. It’s a right enshrined in our state constitution and confirmed by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit,” said Brannan, adding that local schools in his own District 43 are owed more than $40 million collectively. “More than 10 years after CFE was settled, New York City public schools still aren’t getting their fair share from Albany. It’s time our elected officials stand up for public school students and fight for this funding in the current state budget.”

According to the Alliance for Quality Education, the schools are owed $1.9 billion in “Foundation Aid” intended to fund basic classroom operating costs and other school services. This outstanding bill, Brannan said, “stems from a 2006 ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals that the state was failing to provide all New York students with basic resources essential to a ‘sound basic education,’ in violation of the state’s constitution. The suit was brought by a group of New York City parents under the name Campaign for Fiscal Equity and resulted in the state adopting a Foundation Aid formula under the same name to address the problem.”

Brannan has also taken to social media in hopes that local parents and educators will join his fight, urging them to visit www.whatismyschoolowed.com to find out what theirs should be receiving in CFE funding.

“Not every parent knows just how much their school is owed,” he said. “Hopefully, this knowledge will help empower parents to join in fighting for the resources we deserve.”

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