Senator Dale M. Volker Statement On Buffalo News Article On School Funding For City Of Buffalo

William T. Stachowski

February 16, 2005

(Albany, NY) Here we go again. Yesterday’s Buffalo News article entitled "Despite Ruling City Schools Face Budget Gap" erroneously states that the Buffalo City Schools would benefit from the New York City "CFE" decision. This is false and totally inaccurate.

The decision by New York City Judge Leland DeGrasse and the New York City oriented Court of Appeals does nothing for any school districts in New York State, other than those in the New York City School District.

Representatives of the Alliance for Quality Education, the CFE Group and the New York State School Boards Association have been traveling the state "spinning" false and inaccurate information that the CFE decision would help the Buffalo City Schools as well as the other major urban school districts. This is absolutely false.

It remains my strong opinion that this "New York City only" court decision threatens all upstate school districts including Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. It threatens to raise suburban and rural school taxes by as much as 50%, which would be far more destructive than lack of Medicaid reform that many county governments have voiced their concerns about over the past several months.

The fact remains that the Buffalo City School District receives the highest state aid funding in the entire state, at around 82%. If this decision goes forward, the Buffalo City School District will get the short end of the stick. Judge DeGrasse decision could bring about a massive redistribution of wealth from upstate taxpayers to pay for New York City pupils and unfairly pits upstate schools against New York City schools.

This is wrong and that is why this case is ripe for appeal.