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TC'S Huerta Discusses NYC School Funding Case

TC faculty member Luis Huerta recently appeared on "Urban Agenda," a CUNY television program, to discuss a decade-long lawsuit aimed at bringing New York City billions of dollars in additional school funding.

The suit-brought by a coalition of parents, community school boards and advocates known as the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE)-is the most prominent school finance suit among the more than 45 ongoing nationwide. In June 2003, New York State's highest court found for CFE and ordered state lawmakers to fix New York's school funding system. When the state legislature missed the deadline for determining a specific increase in education funding, Judge Leland DeGrasse appointed a panel of Special Masters to do so. In November, the Masters recommended that the city receive an additional $5.6 billion from New York State over four years for school operations and $9.2 billion for facilities.

"This case is unprecedented in a variety of factors," said Huerta, Assistant Professor of Education, who appeared on the CUNY show with Melorra Sochet, Deputy Director of the New York City Council's Commission on the Implementation of CFE. "The most important is that Justice DeGrasse is in a position to order the amount of revenues which should be spent on public schools in New York City, rather than the legislature deciding this, which has been the trend nationwide. So that's something that's signaling a very important change in how schools are funded, and all states are actually watching New York and what's happening here." Huerta noted that the issue of how the additional funds will be generated still remains to be resolved.

The non-partisan independent City Council Commission on CFE Implementation-which is co-chaired by TC President Arthur Levine-has been holding a series of public hearings to develop recommendations on how the city should spend money from the CFE suit.
To view Professor Huerta on "Urban Agenda," visit www.tc.edu/inside.

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