The following was jointly released to the media by a coalition of education groups: the New York State School Boards Association; New York State United Teachers; New York State Council of School Superintendents; and the School Administrators Association of New York State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2010
CONTACT: NYSSBA: David Albert, (518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221; NYSUT: Carl Korn, (518) 213-6000 x6313; NYSCOSS: Robert Lowry, (518) 449-1063 or (518) 435-5996; SAANYS: Michelle Hebert, (518) 782-0600 or (518) 265-1624
Education groups file second lawsuit against governor
The New York State School Boards Association, New York State Council of School Superintendents, New York State United Teachers, and the School Administrators of New York State have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of Governor Paterson's action in withholding $2.1 billion in aid payments due to be made by March 31. The suit also seeks to enjoin any withholding of the remaining payments for this school year, due in May and June.
In December, the four groups filed a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of the Governor's action in withholding $582 million in scheduled state aid payments and STAR reimbursements to school districts, based on the same grounds. Those funds were paid after the suit was filed.
The primary goal of both these lawsuits is to ensure that state officials follow state laws, as they have sworn to do.
Most school aid is paid according to formulas and schedules set in state law. Unless those laws are changed by the Legislature, the payments must be made. We feel obligated to prevent the precedent of a Governor choosing which laws he will follow.
Like the Governor, school boards and superintendents must oversee budgets. We respect the cash-flow difficulties the state faces and school districts are willing to be part of a solution. But any solution must give schools adequate warning to plan for payment delays, a date by which they can count on being paid in full, and it must be done by amending laws for this one-time emergency, not by ignoring them.
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