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Kids Benefit, but Senators Balk

March 1, 2007

A new study released today examines Governor Spitzer's education reform package. Senior economist Trudi Renwick, of the non-partisan Fiscal Policy Institute, says the analysis looks at school aid in each Senate district.

"Every single Senate district has winners in this school aid proposal. Every single Senate district has some school districts that get a significant increase."

GOP leaders in the Senate say they are all for increasing the state's education budget, but are concerned about the governor's plan to redistribute money to provide the most help to the poorest districts. Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, finds it hard to believe that lawmakers from those districts would balk at the plan.

"It is unimaginable to picture one of these senators having to go face the voters in their districts and say 'You know what? We sent money down to wealthy suburban school districts that could have gone to our schools.'"

If adopted, Governor Spitzer's budget would increase school funding by $7 billion over four years.
Renwick says that every district gets at least a 3 percent increase, but needier districts are getting the help they haven't gotten in years.

"What's really spectacular about the Governor's school aid proposal is that there is significantly more money going to the very poorest districts across the state."

Charles Lane/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY