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The Campaign for Fiscal Equity Case: Should the Legislature Implement Justice DeGrasse's Remedy?

Tuesday June 2005

Panelists: Anthony Coles, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, Former Deputy Mayor, City of New York; David Schoenbrod, Law Professor, New York Law School; Jay Greene, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; William Phillips, President, New York Charter School Association
Moderator: E. J. McMahon, Director, Empire Center for New York State Policy, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

In order to improve New York City’s schools, Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse is ordering New York State to massively increase funding for the school system: $5.6 billion annually, plus another $9.2 billion for capital expenditures.

But is Justice DeGrasse’s remedy really the last word in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case? Our panelists will discuss why the Legislature is constitutionally free to consider other approaches. Law professor David Schoenbrod will show why historical precedent allows New York State legislators to reach their own conclusions about how to fulfi ll their constitutional duty to provide New York City’s children with a sound education. Our other panelists will explore some of the items the Legislature could include in an alternative remedy: changes to the teacher union’s work rules, initiating merit pay for teachers, and encouraging charter school formation and growth.