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Old 12-01-2004, 10:59 AM   #1
The Undead Shaman
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: The Bowels of Hell, A.K.A. New Jersey
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Default NY tax dollars spent wisely!

December 1, 2004 --
It would be hilarious if it weren't poten tially so dangerous: A court-appointed panel yesterday demanded that New York taxpayers cough up $14 billion over the next four years so that Gotham's schools can meet constitutional muster.

And that's on top of $13 billion a year already spent on them.

But wait there's more: Taxpayers must fork over another $9 billion over five years for construction costs.

No word on the me-too money sure to be demanded by other cities around the state and districts in politically potent suburbs like Westchester and Long Island, and upstate. Historically, that has been at least as much as what goes to New York City.

So let's see: $14 billion plus $9 billion is . . . $23 billion for the city. . .

Plus another $23 billion, perhaps, for the rest of the state . . . As they say, $10 billion here, $10 billion there pretty soon, well . . . what's left to pay prison guards and motor-vehicles clerks?

The statewide hit at least $14 billion a year would be nearly 25 percent of Albany's share of its entire budget. If Albany financed it all (without cutting other services), average state taxes also would have to mushroom 25 percent.


What's the rationale for all this?

The panelists say that "there is a direct, and strong, correlation between adequate funding and the ability of a local district to fulfill its education mandate."

But is that so?

New York City spends nearly $13,000 per student annually, making it one of the biggest-spending cities in the nation.

Indeed, Education Week, a benchmark professional journal, already ranks the state No. 1 nationally right at the top on funding "adequacy."

Now the panel claims another $5,100 per is needed a 40 percent jump.

But Standard & Poor's, which was consulted in the case, warned that "there is no guarantee that . . . higher spending . . . will replicate higher achievement . . . across the state."

Of course money matters. But how the money is spent matters more.

Truth is, no one can say what number, precisely, is "adequate."

Which is why eight separate public bodies the Assembly, the state Senate, the governor's office, the Zarb Commission, the Board of Regents, Mayor Bloomberg, the plaintiffs in the case and now the court-appointed panel each cited vastly different figures.

All of this was necessary because a succession of legislatures and governors have basically failed to accompany the billions they've pumped into the schools with real public-education reform.

The current crew Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Gov. Pataki have effectively ignored a series of court orders to get the funding right, if nothing else.

The proper way to determine how much to spend is to have the Legislature and governor decide.

That's their job.

These guys chose not to do it and so the courts have been only too happy to do it for them.

Meanwhile, the Citizens Budget Commission yesterday declared that the panel's mandate "will inevitably require a tax increase by the state, the city or both."

That may or may not be true.

But with the city and state both facing multibillion-dollar budget gaps, taxpayers should brace for the worst.

How much more can taxpayers bear? Again, local taxes are already the highest in the nation. And New Yorkers were hit with historic tax hikes just last year.

Indeed, how much more can the state's finances bear before the entire fiscal house comes tumbling down?

New York needs a government.

Instead, it gets political pablum:

"We are particularly concerned that the recommendations appear to reject any type of real reform and fail to overhaul the current accountability system, while recommending a substantial infusion of new spending," said a spokesman for Gov. Pataki.

Whatever that means.

Now, again, a court an institution wholly unsuited for the purpose is poised to tell New Yorkers how much to tax, how much to spend, and what to spend it on.

All the special-interests were grinning wildly yesterday, and why not: Payday is in sight.

Ludicrous sums are in play, but that's par for the course in New York these days.
This isnt only going on in New York this is going on all over the country, throwing more and more money at education still isnt teaching johnny to read and write. i bet hes got a nice seat for his obese ass on the bus though!
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:29 PM   #2
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They can send some of that money to the schools here in Missouri. Would make sure my wife still has a job next year
Pafuna Economics 101

That reminds me of someone eating a shit sandwich who is happy that it has 20% less shit.
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