Hawkins Urges State Lawmakers to Fully Fund Schools

Howie Hawkins for Governor

Media Release
www.howiehawkins.org, www.gpny.org

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2010
Howie Hawkins 315 425-1019
Mark Dunlea 518 860-3725


Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called upon state lawmakers to reject the proposed $1.4 billion cut in education funding proposed by Gov. Paterson for the state's public school system, instead fully funding education and complying with the recent court decision in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit.


Hawkins has also strongly advocated increased funding for the SUNY and CUNY system.


"The state should fulfill its state constitutional obligation to provide a basic education to all New York children. As Governor, I will push for the state to pick up an increasing share of the cost of running our schools, reducing the burden on local property taxes. Our Green US Senate candidate, Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence, will also push to cut our bloated military budget and divert the funding to key domestic needs such as our schools," said Hawkins.


The CFE case in 2007 found that the state had chronically underfunded schools. The state promised to correct the problem, phasing in increased funding over four years, but only lived up to its word for two years. An analysis of the proposed budget cuts shows that 63.5% of school districts in the state face cuts exceeding $10,000 per classroom. The average elementary classroom in the state faces cuts of $11,677.


Hawkins has repeatedly called for a range of progressive tax initiatives to erase the state budget deficit, including a more progressive income tax that increases taxes on millionaires, a Banker's Bonus Tax, and a halt to the rebate of the Stock Transfer Tax. He also supports the proposal by the Alliance for Quality Education to reform the STAR program to better target property tax relief to overburdened lower- and middle-income families while generating a billion dollars in savings to be reinvested in funding for schools


Hawkins has previously stated his opposition to charter schools. explaining that public money should be used for public schools that are accountable to the taxpayers through elected school boards. Increasing the cap on charter schooldiverts more money from public schools at a time when they are facing cuts. Hawkins also cited reports that wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits by using a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter school construction.


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