Statement By Senators Frank Padavan, Serphin Maltese, Martin Golden, John Marchi

Martin J. Golden

March 29, 2006

The budget agreed on by the Legislature represents a tremendous victory for the schools, students, teachers and families of New York City. The budget agreement includes significant increases in funding to improve New York City Schools and ensure that our students receive a sound basic education in state of the art schools.

The budget authorizes $11.2 billion over five years for new school construction, exceeding the amounts proposed in related court decisions. The State will provide $6.5 billion, while the City will contribute the remaining $4.7 billion.

New funding this year in the amount of $1.8 billion will pay for the first year of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s multi-year school construction plan which includes twenty-one school projects that are awaiting funds to move forward. Mayor Bloomberg shares our commitment to students and teachers in New York City, and we thank him for his strong advocacy throughout the budget process.

In addition, the agreement includes a state commitment to pay the debt service on the $1.8 billion, protecting New York City’s taxpayers.

The school construction funding that we have assisted in securing meets a critical portion of the state’s obligation arising from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, and when coupled with the additional increases in operating aid, will help ensure that every child in New York City has the opportunity to achieve a world class education from excellent teachers in safe, modern schools.

We will continue to fight for the best interests of the school children in New York City to ensure that they receive their fair share of state aid.